Tag Archives: action for happiness

Let altruism be your guide

Yesterday I was amongst one of the lucky 800 people who attended an Action for Happiness event with buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. 


Matthieu Ricard made the case that altruism is a powerful way to make decisions for both the short and long term benefit of humanity and the planet.  Matthieu defined altruism as the wish that other people can be happy and find the causes of happiness.  Empathy on the other hand is the affective resonance which tells you that others are joyful or are suffering.  However, empathy for another’s distress is not enough and can lead to burnout,  so loving kindness is needed to avoid this.

Matthieu Ricard argued that in order to have a more altruistic society we need both change at the individual level and at societal level.  “Is it possible for an individual to change?” he asked. 2000 years of contemplative studies say yes, 15 years of collaboration with neuroscience and epigenetics says yes.… Read the rest...

Happy – The Movie

I missed the launch of Happy, the documentary film by Academy Award nominated director Roko Belic (Genghis Blues), when it was launched in the UK some months ago at an Action for Happiness event.  This award winning documentary travels around the world looking at what makes people happy.

The organisation Students for Happiness will be screening The Happy Movie on Wednesday 21st November at The Bloomsbury Theatre in London. A ticket costs just £8 and any profits will be donated to the charity Mind. Watch the trailer and decide for yourself whether you want to go along. It will probably be £8 well spent.  Click here to buy a ticket.


Posted by Shona Lockhart, 5th November 2012

Happiness is a glass half empty

Following on from yesterday’s post about the Oliver Burkeman event organised by Action for Happiness, today’s Guardian features a longer article covering some of the theories in his new book The Antidote.

Happiness is a glass half empty

Be positive, look on the bright side, stay focused on success: so goes our modern mantra. But perhaps the true path to contentment is to learn to be a loser


Article by 


Half-empty glass

Are we maybe just looking for happiness in the wrong way? Photograph: Aaron Tilley for the Guardian

In an unremarkable business park outside the city of Ann Arbor, in Michigan, stands a poignant memorial to humanity’s shattered dreams. It doesn’t look like that from the outside, though. Even when you get inside – which members of the public rarely do – it takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to what you’re seeing. It appears to be a vast and haphazardly

Read the rest...

An Action for Happiness Event with Oliver Burkeman




Last night I attended a great event organised by Action for Happiness who had invited Guardian journalist Oliver Burkeman to talk about his new book “The Antidote: Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking”.

Oliver gave us a brief introduction to some of the research he had undertaken when writing his latest book, having consulted the teachings of psychologists, Buddhists, business consultants and philosphophers who are all of the opinion that “if only we stopped trying so hard to be happy we could have a pretty good time”. (A quote which according to Burkeman has been wrongly attributed to Edith Wharton)

These great teachers argue that an alternative to the pressure to be eternally optimistic and to always look on the bright side of life is to follow a more negative route to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, allowing ourselves to be pessimistic and to… Read the rest...

See Oliver Burkeman at Action for Happiness event in June

As part of my experimentation with Positive Psychology I am always keen to go along to events and to listen to new ideas.  I have just booked to attend the next Action For Happiness event with Oliver Burkeman which is detailed below.  There are still tickets available so do join me.

If you would like a sneak preview of Oliver Burkeman take a look at this video of his RSA talk  on “How to become slightly happier” which was the topic of his previous book.

I look forward to seeing you at the event.






The Antidote with Oliver Burkeman

Join us for a unique and thought-provoking evening as author and columnist Oliver Burkeman brings his refreshing perspective on how to lead a happy life without the need for constant positive thinking.

Oliver will share the insights from his new book The Antidote, which explains why embracing the negative aspects of life may in fact be essential… Read the rest...