The ‘world’s happiest man’ says this is the key to a happy life
If you’re searching for the world’s happiest man, look no further than Matthieu Ricard. A French-born Tibetan Buddhist monk, writer and photographer, Ricard is often referred to as the “happiest man alive.”
So, what’s his secret to happiness?
Ricard says the key to happiness is altruism, or the selfless concern for the well-being of others.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion,” Ricard told the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT in 2009. “If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
It’s a simple message, but one that Ricard has dedicated his life to spreading. In his book, “Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World,” Ricard argues that altruism is not only ethically correct, but also the key to a fulfilling life.
“By cultivating altruism, we create the cause for happiness,” Ricard writes. “By trying to benefit others, we automatically benefit ourselves.”
Ricard’s own life is a testament to the power of altruism. In 1972, he left a promising career as a French philosopher to study Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. He later became a monk, and has since dedicated his life to helping others.
In addition to his work with the Dalai Lama, Ricard is a founder of the Khyentse Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports Buddhist education, and he has worked on humanitarian projects in Tibet, Nepal, India and Bhutan.
Ricard’s message of compassion has resonated with many people, including some of the world’s most influential leaders.
In 2015, Ricard was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he delivered a TED Talk on the benefits of altruism.
“The more you give, the more joy you will experience,” Ricard told the audience. “The more compassionate you are, the more compassionate you will become.”
Ricard’s message is simple, but it’s one that can have a profound impact on the world. As Ricard himself says, “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”