Friday, February 10, 2017

The Happiness Equation (Neil

I read this book because I loved The Book of Awesome. When I first started this book, I wasn't that impressed. The more I read the more I loved it though. I even loved it enough to keep it two days past when it was due at the library (this morning you could have seen me outside the library finishing off the last chapter as I attempted to return it before yet another day of overdue fines accrued). Some books are definitely worth keeping past the due date. I think this is one worth buying.

I am a goal oriented person. In the beginning, he talks about how you just need to be happy where you are. Just decide. Just decide to be happy. Quit pushing yourself. This idea didn't fit in my picture of self-improvement. However, the more I read, the more persuaded I became that he is right.

He says that success does not lead to happiness. I think he's right. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to be successful. It means that if you aren't happy along the way, when you arrive at the destination, it is likely that you still won't be happy because when you drill down, happiness is a choice. I would agree.

His theory that multitasking is a myth is also very persuasive. I'm going to quit trying to pursue that (although, I have to balance that with Gretchen Rubin's Coupling Tasks theory).

He also says that retirement is a broken theory. He talks about having something worthwhile to do. In our world we seem to esteem leisure over everything else, and really, it is a false happiness. I like his idea of always having something you're working on. I think it keeps you young.

He also talks about three tests to measure life: The Saturday Morning Test (what do you do when you have nothing to do on a Saturday morning...that reveals what you really love), The Bench Test ( ) and the Five People Test (you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

I like his advice on making fewer decisions. I am going to follow his advice by planning less variance in meals. It will make life much easier if I'm not spending time labouring over things that really don't deserve the time. I'm okay with eating the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day (might have to remain in creative mode for dinner though just to be safe). He says the elimination of options actually leads to more choice. Irony at it's finest.

I thought it was ironic that he ends the book with the idea that you should never take advice. The translation is the D&C 9:7-9 principle. Study it out in your mind then follow your gut (or the spirit...however you want to put it).

Goodreads summary:

What’s the formula for a happy life?  

Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a Walmart executive, a New York Times–bestselling author, and a husband and dad. After selling more than a million copies of his Book of Awesome series, he now shifts his focus from observation to application.

In The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing, do anything, and have everything. If that sounds like a contradiction, you simply haven’t unlocked the 9 Secrets to Happiness.

Each secret takes a common ideal, flips it on its head, and casts it in a completely new light. Pasricha then goes a step further by providing step-by-step guidelines and hand-drawn scribbles that illustrate exactly how to apply each secret to live a happier life today.

Controversial? Maybe. Counterintuitive? Definitely.

The Happiness Equation will teach you such principles as:
· Why success doesn’t lead to happiness 
· How to make more money than a Harvard MBA 
· Why multitasking is a myth 
· How eliminating options leads to more choice

The Happiness Equation is a book that will change how you think about everything—your time, your career, your relationships, your family, and, ultimately, of course, your happiness. 

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