Working Paper Details

The Graduation Speech: Reflections on Happiness
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
1999/64/ENT

 The Graduation Speech: Reflections on Happiness  

This essay addresses the question of what makes for happiness. An attempt is made to deconstruct this elusive concept. It is suggested that essential aspects of happiness are someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. In this essay, each of these three dimensions is reviewed. The need to achieve balance in life is explored. The dichotomy between outward success and inner success is looked at. The importance of play in people’s lives is examined. The role of stress, another important topic in the happiness equation, is investigated. It is argued that in the search for happiness, humankind’s exploratory needs have to be taken into consideration; people have to strive for authenticity; and an effort needs to be made to know oneself.

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