The Happiness Equation Summary looks at who this book is for. Some key quotes out of the book and in typical Mind By Design fashion we will also put together the three best mindset hacks that you can use straight away.

“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.” 

Neil Pasricha

Who is this book for?

You will be shocked that in the The Happiness Equation Summary that this book is about Happiness. So simply it is for people who are looking for a simple methodology and strategy to finding their happy place. If you find yourself being in a place of continued unhappiness, then Neil will take you through a journey and provide practical guide to finding your centered happy self.

The beauty of this book is the ability to apply what is being talked about. Neil Pasricha is odd (in a nice way) and very likable in his delivery of his secrets to living a happy life. He has broken it down into nine essential secrets. These secrets in essence are the guidelines that will help individuals (and couples) have a super positive outlook to life.

While many may think that finding happiness is about getting rid of the noise, removing the stress and throwing the anxiety out the door, this book demonstrates a path to a positive life and a method to find your way to happiness and ultimately achieving success. Success ultimately being how you want to define that.

“ Dale Carnegie said, “Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours. ”   

Neil Pasricha

The Happiness Equation Summary Mindset Hacks

Mindset Hack 1 – Don’t rely on the advice of others.

This hack sounds counter intuitive, but when Neil places the perspective on it, it makes so much sense. When you seek advice from others you will find that you will get contradicting advice from different people. Those you trust and those you admire will give you opinions about something from THEIR perspective, not yours. Hence that’s their advice and in reality, while they have good intentions and you at the forefront of their advice. Simply they are not you and they do not necessarily know what you want.

As he goes onto explain, every cliche when you look at the opposite of the cliche are contradictory. Take the simple “the early bird catches the worm” vs “good things comes to those who wait”. Ultimately as individuals we seek guidance from others but in reality we should just go out and make the decision based on what you really want and how you feel. You have to trust your feelings. Those little voices in your head are there for a reason and if they are telling you something. Go with it!

“ Don’t take advice,
The answers are all inside you,
Think deep and decide what’s best,
Go forth and be happy,
And don’t take advice. “

Neil Pasricha

Mindset Hack 2 – Break Through Barriers

We’ve all got things that we want achieve and do, yet we for some bizarre reason place barriers on them. We either can’t do it or don’t want to do it. You don’t need to be a genius to realise that placing a barriers such as can’t is going to prevent you from doing it. In the book Neil uses his experience of swimming. He believed that he couldn’t swim, which came from an incident when he was younger which manifested his current state of mind. This of course was a false belief.

The second part of the barriers, don’t want to do. In the case of the swimming example, to avoid swimming he convinced himself that swimming was a waste of time and exercise could simply be achieved through other methods. As you can see these two powerful roadblocks of cant and don’t want to, will prevent you from doing the things you want to or fear and will prevent true happiness.

Neil steps through a methodology which will help you get through this process. Firstly the power of imagination. Imagine yourself doing this task. Secondly, just do it, in his example he signed up for swimming lessons and got into it. There’s a reason why the Nike slogan is so powerful, ‘Just Do It’ because it is so true. Inaction causes resentment, doing causes growth. So just do it bit by bit, effort after effort, your thinking will change and a new belief will form.

I’ve recently gone through a similar exercise. As part of my fitness regime, I needed to add in a high intensity exercise. I tried jump rope in later 2018 for one session and it nearly killed me. So I had built up the idea that it was too hard for me in my current shape. I kept on seeing messages which reminded me of skipping and its benefits. Bizarrely my wife bought a new skipping rope and I decided to start a jump rope challenge. At first I would start with 500 and every seven days I would add 250 jumps. While the first 500 were extremely difficult, over time the exercise got easier. In fact I am now at a point where I crave doing it everyday. At day thirty six, I comfortably do 1,500 jump ropes a day and haven’t looked back.

“Because motivation doesn’t cause action.
Action causes motivation.” 

Neil Pasricha

Mindset Hack 3 – Remove Decision Fatigue

Making 100’s of decisions can become a highly stressful exercise and use up a shit load of mental energy. In fact the brain only has a certain amount of juice in the tank on a daily basis to make decisions.

A simple exercise is to figure out how to reduce the amount of decisions you make in a day. Neil explains the example of how for a day he counted how many decisions he made. The answer, 285! Small simple decisions add up, what to eat? What to drink? What to wear? What font size? What font? Should I go for a walk? Should I do this analysis? You get the point. All these small decisions kill your decision juice.

If there are ways of minimising and automating decisions you make on a daily basis, implement them. They will do two things, reduce decision fatigue and create space. Neil tells the story of Benjamin Lee a work colleague. Neil noticed how Benjamin had a certain style so he asked him about it. Benjamin goes on to tell him that every year he buys 30 boxer shorts, 30 identical parts of socks, 15 shirts and five pairs of black pants. With this he then only does his laundry once a month. Saving him on average 15 minutes a day. This 15 minutes adds up to one whole week a year.

“Automate, regulate, effectuate all, remove decisions from your head. What are you left with? 
Deep thinking, questioning, wondering..
Your aching brain will thank you” 

Neil Pasricha

Key message of the book

The Happiness Equation summary is that everyone can find happiness. You just need to commit to yourself that you are worthy of it, follow the 9 secrets according to Neil in this book and it is well and truly a path to Happiness. Lets recap what those 9 secrets are:

  1. Secret #1: Be Happy First: That means you can actually train your brain to be happy. Some things that Pasricha suggests is walking three times a week, writing about positive experiences, doing acts of kindness, completely unplugging, meditating, and practicing gratitude.
  2. Secret #2: Do It For You: When you’re not doing it for you, you won’t do a good job. If you do it for yourself, you will do more, go further, and perform better.
  3. Secret #3: Remember the Lottery: Remember that more isn’t always better, and that you already have everything you need right now.
  4. Secret #4: Never Retire: Now, we are living much longer. And we still need a reason to wake up in the morning. So never retire. Keep learning, keep changing and keep growing.
  5. Secret #5: Overvalue You: Overvalue your time and spend time working only on things you enjoy. Realize that more money doesn’t mean more value.
  6. Secret #6: Create Space: You can also create more space by realizing that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Want to write a book? If the deadline is in three months, it will take you three months to complete it. But if the deadline is in two months, you’ll write the book in two months. Move up your deadlines and you’ll create more space.
  7. Secret #7: Just Do It: If something is scaring you, just do it. Take one baby step in the right direction.When you accomplish something, no matter how small, you will feel more confident, and it will make you want to do more.
  8. Secret #8: Be You: You are perfect the way you are. Internalize that.
  9. Secret #9: Don’t Take Advice: There’s no such thing as perfect advice. What works for me is different than what works for Pasricha and it may be different than what works for you. Listen to what other people are doing, but above all, listen to yourself.

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me–This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.” 

Neil Pasricha

Hopefully you have enjoyed The Happiness Equation summary. If you want to know more:

Other Mind By Design Summaries

Cant Hurt Me Summary – David Goggins

You Are a Bad Ass Summary – Jen Sincero

Mindset Summary – Carol Dweck

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