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The abiding pursuit of happiness

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WHAT is life all about, really? Get rich, buy a condo, car, etc? If that's the case, why are Singaporeans still so unhappy?

In Friday's issue of BT Weekend magazine, we report on a recent TEDxSingapore event focused on the pursuit of happiness beyond material goods.

That was when a group of corporate consultants, psychologists, psychiatrists and HR practitioners weighed in on the topic of Singaporeans being too obsessed with social expectations and financial security to really stop and think about what would actually make them happy.

What they found was that Singaporeans can lead happy, meaningful lives if we can define what we really want, temper our expectations, and accept the full range of experiences that life has to offer - including failure, disappointment and heartache. So if you're looking for something more in life, find out how to put these experts' advice into practice.

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Meanwhile, Raffles Singapore recently opened BBR by Alain Ducasse, a venture with the famed chef-entrepreneur who holds 20 Michelin stars in his stable of some 30 restaurants worldwide. In Singapore for a whistle-stop visit, we catch up with him as he talks about longevity in his business and dining trends.

Also, as the dust settles on this week's Michelin Guide awards, we meet Sebastien Lepinoy, executive chef of the newly minted three-starred restaurant Les Amis. He talks about the long struggle to attain this ultimate honour, and his determination to perfect the most difficult style of French cooking - classic haute cuisine. Elsewhere in this issue, we take a quick peek at the upcoming Archifest and Patek Philippe's grand watch exhibition; and the shortlisted watches competing in this year's Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve. If you want to get up to speed on the ongoing US-China trade spat, we have a couple of documentaries to recommend too.