Underlying the diverse motivations of human behaviour and characterizing the various modes of being in the world at physical, psychological and mental levels of experience, the desire for happiness seems paramount. Of course, happiness is subjective and is interpreted differently according to personal understanding and external circumstances. For some, reflection on the concept of happiness may be based predominantly on self - self-preservation, self-protection, self-satisfaction, self-promotion etc; for some, it may be focused on others – the well-being, safety, joy of one’s loved ones and even of mankind in general. Mostly, these two elements of focus, self and others, are intertwined and co-existent, albeit in different proportions at different times. One can scarcely be happy if one’s loved ones are suffering in any way. However, it ultimately comes down to the question: what makes me feel happy? Many, if not all of our decisions, actions, thoughts, plans, hopes and desires are, on some essential level, propelled by this question.The human being desires to be happy! This is a seemingly simple proposition which may be accepted as definitive and certain. In his reflection on ‘the purpose of human life’, Freud concluded that apart from a religious perspective, life has no intrinsic meaning or purpose. However, this does not deny the fact that individuals portray, through their behaviour, the intention and purpose of their lives; from this observation, Freud concludes that the pursuit of happiness is the universal intention of all persons: ‘What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it? The answer to this can hardly be in doubt. They strive for happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so’ (Freud: 1995: 729). However, the concept of happiness and the desire for happiness inspires philosophical, psychological and literary reflections which interrogate and question this tautology. Many questions ensue: is it possible for a human being to desire to be unhappy? Is it possible for a human being to be neutrally unconcerned with the experience of happiness? And, does the concept of happiness allow for any interpretation which is not subjective, personal and temporal? The subjective, fluid and emotional nature of the experience of happiness results in complexity and ambiguity pertaining to interpretations of this concept. Commonly accepted definitions include a feeling of well-being, physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological; a feeling or a belief that one’s needs are being met, or at least that one has the power to strive towards the satisfaction of the most significant of such needs; a feeling that one is being authentic in the living of one’s life and in one’s relations with significant others; a feeling that one is using one’s potential in so far as this is possible within one’s circumstances; a feeling that one is contributing to life in some way, that one’s life is making a difference. These reflections commonly involve reference to the role of values such as meaning, purpose and service in the attainment and the experience of happiness. It seems that happiness is, above all, a ‘feeling’! Underlying all of these possible interpretations is a sense of ‘enjoyment’, a sense that one is joyfully creating and living a satisfactory life, ‘the good life’, however this is construed privately and publicly by the individual subject. The reality of unhappiness is attested to by the ongoing proliferation of books, courses, advice and medication which purport to alleviate the sources of personal unhappiness and therefore enable a greater capacity for joy and harmony within the individual. Whatever the cause of the unhappiness, there is a book out there claiming to ‘cure’ it ‘in twelve easy steps’ or some other such promise. The success of these enterprises is of course debatable, not least because testimonials to such success are inevitably selective and therefore suspect. The demand persists, and the various responses to the demand continually strive to be creative and original while simultaneously claiming efficacy and success. As far back as 1930, the eminent philosopher, Bertrand Russell, put forward his reflections on the question of happiness, and in particular, on how happiness might be attained and enjoyed. The Conquest of Happiness is a clear, logically-constructed argument outlined in the book’s two sections: ‘Causes of Unhappiness’ and ‘Causes of Happiness’. The simplicity of this outline is noted by the contemporary philosopher, A.C. Grayling, in his preface to a recent edition of the book where he asserts that ‘some of the deepest truths are simple’, and where he summarizes the central message of the book as the seemingly obvious but sometimes forgotten dictum ‘that happiness is gained by being outward-looking in work and relationships, and lost by being wrapped-up in oneself, dwelling on anxieties and fears’ (Russell, 2008: x). Russell claims that his ‘recipes’ for happiness are inspired by common sense and he hopes that these ‘recipes’ may help ‘many people who are unhappy…become happy’ (Russell, 2008: xiii).