Untitled Happiness Project
Confucius, Aristotle, The Dalai Lama, Britney Spears and even my Mom have all at one time or another asked the ultimate question: What is the secret to happiness? Well, now it’s my turn to ask, but more importantly to find the answer.
UHP is a fun and enlightening documentary series that follows my journey all over the world to discover the secret to happiness.
The journey consists of talking to top medical professionals, esteemed professors at Harvard University, meditating with monks in the breathtaking temples in the far East, talking to celebrities in LA and NYC, visiting with some of the wealthiest and poorest individuals in the world as well as talking to people from all walks of life. All the while putting together the most comprehensive answer from the widest range of sources to a question that unlocks the secret to our very existence: what is the secret to happiness? Set to the backdrop of the most beautiful cinematography the world has to offer, we will discuss the findings of current research on the science of happiness and introduce simple solutions and tools that can make an immediate a difference in one's life.
Background: Today the rates of depression are skyrocketing throughout the world. 10 years ago self-help books accounted for over $500 million in annual sales, today that number has jumped to more than $2 billion (apparently I am not the only one asking this question). A recent study conducted in American colleges tells us that 45% of students were “so depressed that they had difficulty functioning.” 45%, that’s over 7 million people! All too many times people have devoted their lives to attaining high grades, prestigious jobs and expensive material possessions only to find that the pursuit and attainment of these goals failed to provide them with sustained well being. So many people seem to accept their poor emotional predicament as the inevitable price of success. Could it be that Thoreau’s observation that most people lead lives of “quiet desperation” was true? I refuse to accept this as fact and I refuse to accept this in my own life, and this is where our film begins…
STORY: My name is Andrew Gallery and I have just read the #1 NY Times bestseller Happier, written by Tal Ben Shahar Ph. D., an author and lecturer at Harvard University. Within its first two years his course on Happiness has become the highest enrolled class in the history of Harvard University. After an extensive meeting with Tal I now have a blue print for cultivating happiness, but I still need more real world answers. I am off to talk to others who have seemingly found the secret as well and those who couldn’t be farther from it. From Tal’s home in Israel I will travel to Los Angeles to talk to celebrities to hear their tips and to see how sometimes people with “everything” can still be unhappy. Then it’s to Wisconsin to find out what Dr. Richard J. Davidson has learned from The Dalai Lama by studying the effects of meditation on the brain. Then to Bhutan, where the Gross National Product (GNP) is actually Happiness! Next to China to meet simple farmers, then to France, Spain, England and Germany.
I will travel the world putting the theories of the book to the test, talking to people from different cultures, classes and economic backgrounds as we discover the universal secrets to long lasting happiness.
Just as An Inconvenient Truth raised awareness about the status of our environment, UHP will do the same for our overall insights into what make us happy. A must see documentary series for anyone who has ever wondered: What is the secret to happiness?