The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

This is the second book I have read on Happiness (The Happiness Project).

Why is it so hard to be happy?
The author has stated that because life was mostly short, brutal, and highly competitive over the two hundred thousand years our species has existed on this planet. And our brains are trained for this short, brutal, and highly competitive world.

This instinctive need for what we don’t yet have creates in us a persistent state of dissatisfaction.
Unhappiness is nature’s way of keeping people on their toes. It’s a crude system, but it has worked for thousands of years.
We scan the world for problems because that led to our survival.

Our brains do this: Look for problem. Find problem. Improve problem.

The trouble with our generation today is that
They want to want nothing . . . do anything . . . and have everything.

So what is Happiness?

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Be content with what you have. Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. —LAO TZU

True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach.

Some of the quotes I liked in this book are:

American philosopher William James says, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

The Happiness Advantage author Shawn Achor says, “It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.”

Aristotle says, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Viktor Frankl says, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Walt Whitman writes, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.”

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens and 90% how I react to it.”

Buddha says, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

The author has shared nine secrets for obtaining Happiness:

  1. Be Happy First
    Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything. Be happy first.
  2. Do it For You
    Don’t do it for others.
    It’s hard to compete endlessly because there’s always more to compete with when you get there.
    Makes sense. When you’re not doing it for you . . . you’re not doing a good job. It’s not just that getting rewards hurts quality, either. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life.
  3. Remember the Lottery
    It means be conscious of your problem scanning machine Amygdala Hijack, be conscious of the more you want, and be conscious to remember how lucky you are to be where you are. Remmber you have enough !Remember more isn’t always better.
  4. Never Retire
    By Retiring You’ll be giving up the Social, Structure, Stimulation, and Story you get every day from being there.
    Just keep learning, keep changing, and keeping growing. And promise me that you will never retire.
    Remember the Parkinson’s Law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
  5. Overvalue You
    Understand how much a Harvard MBA really makes and overvalue you so every single hour of your working life is spent doing something you love.
  6. Create Space
    Develop extra space by Removing Choice, Removing Time, and Removing Access, and nurture that space, that powerful space, so it fills your mind and time and life with contentment, freedom, and happiness.
  7. Just Do It
    Put it another way: Start doing something? You’ll continue. Why? Because motivation doesn’t cause action. Action causes motivation. The advertising slogan everyone knows because it follows this secret Nike said it best.
  8. Be You
    To master your most important relationship? Be you. Be you and be cool with it.
    There is nothing more satisfying than being loved for who you are and nothing more painful than being loved for who you’re not but pretending to be.
  9. Don’t take Advice

So basically the book has given this Happiness Equation:

Always remember there are only three goals.
To want nothing. That’s contentment.
To do anything. That’s freedom.
To have everything. That’s happiness.
Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

This book is really worth reading and implementing in our life to improve our life.