Solve for Happy


What is the happiness formula from an engineer’s point of view? Mo Gawdat, the author of Solve for happy, has written one like this:

I like this equation as simple as that. Simply changing our expectations and how we see our lives will make us happy. If we manage to have no demands from our loved ones, we feel happy. A friend of mine, Sasha, once told me she’s happy in her marriage because she has no expectations. With no expectations, the joy settles in.

Another key factor is whether we see everything that happens in life with a positive lens or not. Jackie, one of my readers, shared with me a good news about seeing the good in bad times. The story was about people recovered from Covid-19 donated their plasma towards finding a cure. This is an example of turning a disaster into something wonderful!

There are many things in life we can’t control. All we can control is our actions (towards the goal) and attitude (focus on the good). Let’s have some awareness breaks every day to live our lives in here and now, not inside the head. Be aware of any selfish thoughts as any thought that stems from ego is bound to disappoint.

Golden rule for happiness: choose to believe in the side that makes you happy

What’s your state of mind?

The book Solve for happy has covered the illusions we might have, like time and control. I love the way Mo Gawdat explains complex stuff with simple metaphors for easy understanding. What I like the most is the graph above for joy check. It’s a great way to know what our state of mind is right away! For example, I’m unemployed and I’m thinking I’m free to learn new things I want (positive thoughts) so I’m in a state of happiness. What state are you in?

Happy reading!

attitude audiobook awareness caitlin moran craft creative writing creativity empathy femimist feminism funny generous give give and take giver giving goals happiness happy happy reading how to be a woman how to write humor inspiration learned optimism memoir optimistic personal finance perspective positive positive attitude positive psychology reading relationship robert greene self aware self awareness self improvement style of writing the elements of style woman writing writing skills writing tips yoga


84 thoughts on “Solve for Happy

      1. I read in another post that one thing to avoid is overthinking …

        Eckhart Tolle talks about divine presence , the state of being aware of thoughts and emotions and stillness to control and calm the mind instead of being overtaken by your mind …

      1. Expecting good to come out of every uncomfortable situation and knowing that ‘this’ has come to pass keeps us in a spacious place of peace and gratitude….and thus habitual happiness😃

  1. Through both joy and pain ,
    We transcend grow and gain…
    Never say that life has ended in vain  ,
    All that God sends is a blissful rain ,
    Dark clouds water the trees and roses ,
    So  divinie spirit  would forever remain ,
    To restore life and reality sustain ,
    After stormy weather , in faith , remain ,
    that the sky would brightly the sun contain , …

      1. Have you read a book called the power of now by Eckhart Tolle who combines ideas of both Christianity and Buddhism. He interprets such teachings in his own way and with his own ideas …

      2. Yes! I have read that and I love the metaphor he uses to explain the power of now. I like the idea that the power of now is like the light from the torch that guides you in the dark and gives you clear vision.

  2. It’s amazing how important our own perception is. Adversity can be a great teacher, and a positive attitude can help us heal and guide us toward compassion. Forget expectation, appreciate now.

  3. I’ve heard of the solve for happy theory before, but the challenge is that some people use it to stay in an unhealthy or abusive situation by lowering their expectations or trying to avoid making a change. It can be a dangerous approach in certain circumstances, unless the solve equation allows you to change ypur circumstance to achieve happy for you.

  4. Great post. I admit most of the time our happiness lies on how much expectation we put on ourselves. So, we’ll have to be kind. My current state of mine, positive as ever! It’s all the little positive thoughts that we build around ourselves that help.

  5. I’m participating in a training for the second time and today our topic was the Joy of Movement (it is a movement practice) and the principle is a triad of choose, sensation, and Universal Joy. We tweak things and sustain or increase things in order to stay in Universal Joy. It is quite an interesting principle. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thank you for sharing your training of Joy of Movement. I’m glad to know that! Could you give me some examples about how you tweak things and sustain or increase things in order to stay in Universal Joy? I’m curious to know more! ❤

      1. Well, tweaking would be personal . . . . but as an example if I were moving and I notice my left shoulder hurt when I lifted my left arm, I would “tweak” my movement but say, not lifting my arm so high. Then once I found that sweet spot I would sustain that level to allow for the Joy of Movement. Kind could relate it to the Solve for Happy, if your expectations are too high you would “tweak” them so as not to get disappointed. 🙂

  6. Helen, thanks for a thought-provoking post. I decided a long time ago that being happy was a choice. I choose to be happy every day, and it has become a habit, This does not mean I don’t have frustrations in life, It just means, I deal with them and go on. Best, Cheryl

  7. The equations rings true, yet putting this into action is a life’s work. We are born into expectation. Having no expectation in marriage is a lofty goal but is is wise? I interpret this equation more to mean that we must stop trying to write our own scripts for the Universe. Life unfolds and we have a choice on how to react.

    1. Yes, it’s true. Happiness is a life’s work. Having no expectation in marriage may help reduce the tension sometimes I guess. Your interpretation sounds very zen! 😀

  8. Interesting!

    Seneca had this down.
    “Man is affected not by events but by the view he takes of them.”
    “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”
    “The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”
    “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. ”

    Another formula I like (which I heard in a dharma context) is:

    Suffering = Pain x Resistance

  9. I’m reading this book right now and absolutely love the lessons it teaches. Have you found it’s made a difference in your life since reading it?

      1. I will do. I think it will have a massive impact. Just listening to Mo Gawdad speak on the How to Fail podcast had me hooked and thinking about how my thoughts often derail me. Wonderful insights! I can’t wait to read more. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s