Thanks for the question and here is my personal swing at it at 62 years old as a monk monking around.
Happiness is subjective perception in my assessment. Recently I spent one year at Pine Ridge Reservation with my Lakota friends and consciously embraced their collective pain and suffering beyond anything previously experienced. I cried at the reality of experiencing American prisoner of war camp #334 and owned what owned me in the experience in being a part of the collective denial responsible for the fragmented dysfunctional conditions of this gentle ancient Native people.
I was happy with being a compassionate person stripping away the security of previous prejudicial elitism and as a minority of one honestly interacting in dignity with oppressed people who loved me more than my own family. Not only did no money follow my experience of subtle happiness, the contra varient was true that following intuitive guidance in source presence required paying for the experience by giving up everything I possessed to experience my own liberation.
We live in subjective relativism ("prejudicial niches") where one's own autonomy creates perceptions of what is "this" and "that" in anything and happiness is just another objectified gratified experience of this and that. The Dalia Lama notion of perfection is offered as a subjective relativism, and in modernity is equal to Larry Flint's worldhood of pornography. The unintended consequences of one person's subjective happiness in immediate gratification of human desires is never held accountable by society. For instance in Japan pornography is now replacing sexual relations with previous happy partnerships in marriage as an epidemic problem in social relations. And I assume men are happier as thrill seekers following the great Larry Flynt in America. And let's admit pornography is where the real money is following being happy on the Internet.
While the Dalia Lama is a person who's subjective relativistic notion of happiness is non attachment, poverty, self realization, celibacy delaying immediate gratifications as a discipline, compassionately seeing beauty in everyone, and personally disarming the notion of happiness in "things" especially money, fame, fortune and all the glitter that Richard points to that follows being happy? So I question Ricard's state of realization in living?
I appreciate Richard Branson entrepreneurial successes and he is no Dalia Lama which is fine, and I assess this statement sounds like a "Zig Ziglar New Age Principle of Attraction" to his constituents justifying the primary notion that we are born to buy and sell one another and happiness is being a merchant. He may be right and I may be living in an illusion?
My honest assessment is we are in some very deep chaos on b~llsh~t mountain as people, a humanity and a planet. I do not see any short cuts other than facing off in reality the conditional situation we have historically created in this global cultural matrix. Breaking the denial operating "Party Lines" in the notion that money is going to solve the breakdown is actually ignoring the insanity in current human conditions. I know this is not a popular observation because it requires deep reflection and "self efficacy in radical transparency with one another." Most people can not comprehend what I just uttered and I sure in hell expect leaders to begin to in any circle of influence I engage in conversations.
We are like caterpillars who have consumed everything, fully exponentially stuffing ourselves, and now "stuck, frozen" and need to eat our dead flesh (previous notions of happiness making us sick and killing us) in a process of developing imaginal seeds within of becoming something different than a black plague gratifying subjective relativism in blind unconscious behaviors causing pain points throughout the web of life. Oooch! Probably lost everyone on that insight because that is calling for radical transparency in subjective relativism. The imaginal seeds is stepping out of our little "private absorbed niches of power based self importance" and owning what we are doing to a ice cap and Polar Bears. Never mind the latest climate change disaster in New Jersey shore and New York City requiring solidarity in designed a Marshal Plan for millions of people who are on the front lines of unintended consequences in unconscious human behaviors. Mother Earth is alive and shaking and baking a new recipe for the 21st century.
See how happy you are flying Virgin Airlines or buying the next musical love song after this reflection and maybe begin appreciation that happiness is actually compassionately doing something not living in denial of the reality happening? We humans are hungry for wholeness, maturity and transcendence of human suffering, and looking in all the wrong places. Its inside not outside. And I imagine a world where one person's suffering brings all our attention to what are we missing? The entrepreneurial quest before us! If Richard Branson responds offering TOOTE~V3W money, I would be grateful and it won't be what he thinks and it will definitely supply a new line item to his notions of "Disrupting Business as Usual." We need an inspired radical new beginning in a mood joyful concern where the glitter is inside and we own the denial on the outside! Denial is not a river in Egypt.
"Our task must be to face ourselves by widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." Albert Einstein
I apologize for not being as smart of most you who have this twittering universe down to 140 characters and concise one liners. If I was to offer one here it is:
"We have all the time in the world and not a moment to waste."