The universal truth of happiness explained


How 6 years of research and globetrotting unlocked the secret sauce of what makes us happy.

A couple of months ago I was priviliged to spend a weekend with one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met – Eiji Han Shimizu.

Eiji is known for, among other things, producing an award-winning movie about happiness called Happy.

After a long Skype call earlier in the year at a busy airport where we talked about happiness, business and everything in between, Eiji kindly offered to fly halfway around the world to participate in our Summercamp—3 days of ideas, inspiration and community that turned out to be a game-changer for many.

As well as hosting a ‘death bed meditation’ (that’s another story), he told his personal story in a captivating talk early on the Saturday morning of camp.

Soon we’ll be releasing the film of Eiji’s full talk, but I wanted to share with you one of the pivotal moments from the weekend which really struck a chord with the people that were there in that barn. He was explaining their findings from filming Happy the movie.

Here’s what he had to say:

"Everyday we were trying to figure out the secret sauce of happiness.

For the first year or two it was a very difficult task to find out ‘what is the universal secret of happiness?’. Everyone in the world has a different definition of happiness. And we travelled to 16 countries to find this out.

And then one day we looked at each other and realised we’d found it.

At that moment we’d discovered the secret sauce of happiness that is applicable anywhere in the world, with any ethnicity, any income status, anywhere — it works everywhere, without exception."

This Universal Truth?

"And here we’re not talking about the ‘pleasurable’ kind of happiness, because even in that case, Donald Trump can be happy. But the kind of happiness that is contentment. You simply cannot achieve this being self centered and egotistical.

Without exception the happiest people we saw in the 6 years of filming were giving, altruistic and serving other people."

This statement has been backed up by scientists too. That is – happiness and compassion are inexplicably linked.

Eiji continued:

“Happy people are kind.” Yes, it may sound cheesy or dogmatic. And I bet if there was Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad alive today and he had a Twitter account – he would retweet this!”

So don’t go seeking happiness in all the wrong places. Happiness starts with kindness to ourselves and others.

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