Articles

The Graduation Speech: Reflections on Happiness (2000)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"Deconstructing 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 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 exploratory needs have to be taken into consideration; people have to strive for authenticity; and an effort needs to be made to know oneself.

European Management Journal, 2000

Read more

Add Comment

Go back


Related content

"What does success mean to senior executives?"

The Many Colors of Success: What do Executives Want out of Life?

This article is based on the responses of 160 senior executives to questions of what success means to them.

Published on 1 Jan, 2010

"What role does money play in our lives"

Money, Money, Money

This article explores the role money plays in our lives.

Published on 13 Oct, 2007

"High achievers who feel they are complete fakes"

The Dangers of Feeling like a Fake

 This article describes that "neurotic imposture" a kind of behavior that causes a great many extremely talented, hardworking, and capable executives—men and women who have achieved great success by the world's standards–to believe, deep down, that they don't deserve it.

Published on 17 Nov, 2006

The White Raven, the Bear-King, and Other Grim Tales

The White Raven, the Bear-King, and Other Grim Tales

A young prince who resists the spell of the evil goblin with the help of a raven, a king who turns into a bear to expel the monster in him, four brothers, each with a unique gift, facing a common dilemma—these are some of the characters in this collection of fairy tales, each story reflecting our deepest fears and desires. Join author Manfred Kets de Vries as he takes you on a journey where heroes and heroines face dragons, crones, lions and wicked stepmothers in their search for the elusive “happily ever after”.

Published on 25 Jul, 2016

"What do executives want out of life?"

The Many Colors of Success: What do Executives want out of Life?

This article is based on the responses of 160 senior executives to questions of what success means to them.

Published on 9 Jan, 2009

"Unconscious dynamics and impact on organisational life"

Organizations on the Couch: A Clinical Perspective on Organizational Dynamics

In this article the argument is made that unconscious dynamics have a significant impact on life in organisations.

Published on 1 Apr, 2004

Reflections on Group & Organizations

Reflections on Group & Organizations

Reflections on Groups and Organisations is the third and final book in the On the Couch with Manfred Kets de Vries series. This book examines concepts of organisational health, performance, and change.

Published on 18 Jan, 2011

"Reflective writing as carthartic process"

To Get Over Something, Write About It

This blog entry with the Harward Business Review looks at the therapeutic effect of writing.

Published on 26 Nov, 2014

Reflections on Character and Leadership

Reflections on Character and Leadership

In this book, Manfred Kets de Vries offers an overview of his work spanning four decades, a period in which he has established himself as the leading figure in the clinical study of organisational leadership.

Published on 11 Mar, 2009

"Culture and character of Russian leadership"

The Anarchist Within: Clinical Reflections on Russian Character and Leadership Style

This article highlights a number of salient aspects of the culture and character of Russia (now the Russian Federation) in order to facilitate an informed understanding of the way Russians deal with organisations and approach leadership style.

Published on 1 May, 2001