While there's no pre-approved happiness scale, it's safe to say that Tibetan Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has us beat. As Business Insider reports, Ricard, who's given two viral TED Talks, written multiple best-selling books, and worked alongside the Dalai Lama, was dubbed "the happiest man alive" by the media after his gamma brain waves were measured to be the strongest in a 2000 University of Wisconsin study.
While Ricard himself has shirked the moniker, he has grown to embrace his celebrity and view it as a means to spread his learnings. BI recently sat down with Ricard for its recent episode of "Success! How I Did It," to discuss his new book, Beyond the Self, as well as his most important life lessons. Topping his list was his definition of success.
"When he devoted his life to Buddhism as a young man, he realized that happiness is a skill, a honed way of viewing the world, that does not automatically accompany the trappings of this external success," writes the publication. Ricard arrived at this conclusion after observing his parents, famous socialites, interact with their group of friends, including composer Igor Stravinsky and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. "Even at a young age he could tell that all of the indicators of external success—influence, respect, wealth—were not always accompanied by happiness."
Rather than seeking happiness through external success, Ricard prefers what he calls "personal flourishing," or working to fulfill your deepest aspirations. "By 'deepest aspiration,' he means something much more existential than aspiring to a big paycheck or lavish home," this site concludes. "He's referring to a success defined by self-fulfillment for the purpose of positively affecting others. 'So to transform yourself to serve others,' he said." Head over to Business Insider for more of Ricard's best life lessons.