Have Scientists Found The Happiest Man Alive?


Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

This guy looks cheerful, right? Like, maybe his Tibetan monk costume was the hit of the office Halloween party, or he’s wrapped in a particularly comfortable Snuggie®?

Well, it’s neither a costume nor a sleeved blanket, but he’s definitely cheerful. Meet Matthieu Ricard, whose brain produces gamma wave activity ”never reported before in the neuroscience literature,” according to University of Wisconsin researchers. His contentedness levels are off the charts, dwarfing hundreds of others’ in the same study, and–with this superhuman capacity for positivity–he just might be earth’s happiest person. (Our money was on Willie Nelson, but science has spoken.)

Incidentally, Ricard–a 66-year-old French geneticist who became a monastic Buddhist and traveling companion of the Dalai Lama, or as we like to call him, Human Yoda–is the author of a book titled Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill. “That’s what Buddhism has been trying to unravel, the mechanism of happiness and suffering,” Ricard says. “It is a science of the mind.”

Fascinating stuff, but meditation takes effort. We’ll stick to beer for our happiness… and our suffering.

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Marty Beckerman (@martybeckerman) is the Associate Editor of Guy Code Blog