3 Gurus in Happiness







As much as humans pursue happiness with great vigor, we are also known to always seek out gurus for emulation and apprenticeship.

Here, let us look at three prominent and reputable gurus in the field of happiness. To provide a more comprehensive breadth, we take a look at individuals who stand out as gurus in happiness from three perspectives: Spiritual, Scientific and Social / Cultural.

For the spiritual view, we introduce Dalai Lama. For the scientific view, we have Martin Seligman. For the social / cultural view, we discuss Andrew Matthews.

Dalai Lama

A revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, Dalai Lama is as well known around the world for his Buddhist teachings as he is for his advocacy for the importance of compassion as a source of a happy life. Dalai Lama is the 14th Dalai Lama, believed by the Tibetans to be the current reincarnation of the original Dalai Lama. His religious name is Tenzin Gyatso, in short for Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso. His birth name is Lhamo Dondrub.

Amongst the notable publications written by Dalai Lama, two of them focused on the subject of happiness. These are well received and provide an enriching insight into thoughts on happiness. Co-authored with Howard C Cutler, a psychiatrist and writer, the two books are “The Art of Happiness” and “The Art of Happiness At Work“. If you would like to have an indepth understanding and are looking for a source of reflection and introspection, these two books are worth a read. As recommended by many, these are nourishing food for thought and great for opening your heart and mind.

Dalai Lama is a well travelled speaker whose public speeches encompass broad non-Buddhist topics such as modern ethics, environment, gender, economic and social issues and in particular, peace, compassion and happiness. His talks are often candid, honest, simple and profound in nature. A striking characteristic of his speeches is the way he elicits teachable moments from daily anecdotes, which is easy to absorb and enjoyable to listen to. Some of the interviews, speeches and discussions are made available online at the Dalai Lama channel as well as the webcast pages of the official website.

Martin Seligman

An influential figure in the science of happiness, Martin Seligman is the founding father of modern Positive Psychology. He is the leading authority on interventions that build strengths, well-being and prevent depression. He is a prolific author of over 250 scholarly publications and at least 20 books.

Two of his inspiring reads are “Flourish“, which unravels understanding on happiness and well-being, as well as the revolutionary “Authentic Happiness“, which enlightens on the true nature of happiness. Both of which deserve your attention should you want a meticulous and scientific look at what happiness really is and how to use positive psychology to help you be happy.

As a key figure in Positive Psychology, his contributions lay foundations in the fields of Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism.

Martin Seligman successfully spread the impact of Positive Psychology to larger social strata like the education, health, and neuroscience. Through application of his research, he has benefited groups like teachers, students, athletes, the U.S. Army, and common people. His goal for Positive Psychology is to make the world happier.

Andrew Matthews

One of the better known authors of happiness books, Andrew Matthews has published many practical books that aim to teach and enlighten our understanding of life and happiness. Also an avid illustrator, he has incorporated his cartoons into his books, which are often easy to read and enjoyable as a visual resource too.

The underlying theme that runs through his books is the desire to help everyday average people find their true meaning and path to happiness in their lives. Andrew Matthews is a believer of conscious effort, daily practice and a way of life for being happy. His simple and practical approach has helped many people find new ways to live happier, from the young to the old, from all walks of life.

Being very well received and popular, Andrew Matthews’s books have sold at least 7 millions copies worldwide in as many as 42 languages. Many of the titles have also clocked bestselling lists in 21 major cities across 5 of the 7 continents (Europe, Asia, Australia-New Zealand, North & South Americas).


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