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The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha (Book Review)

The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude — William James

I recently read “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha and it really had a lasting impact on me. It helped me realize a lot of things and the value which it bought to me is immense.

Today I would like to talk about the 5 big secrets of happiness. So let’s start!

Secret #1 - Be Happy First

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Let’s head back to our childhood and recall the model taught to us to achieve happiness. The scribble goes something like this:

Great Work -> Big Success -> Be Happy

This method is completely backward! It says –

Study hard -> Top grades -> Be Happy!

Work overtime -> Great job -> Be Happy!

But what happens when we follow this? We tend to complete our goals and then set new goals and says we will be happy when we have reached that goal.

And this cycles goes on and we always seek happiness in the future leaving the present moment.

Now let’s do one thing. What if we place “Be Happy” in the front the scribble? It becomes:

Be Happy -> Great Work -> Big Success

Now we are happy first and everything changes. We don’t seek happiness in the future but we enjoy this moment being happy and we are ready to put in the work to achieve success because we feel so good!

So Be Happy First!

Now I know you may be saying there’s a lot wrong going in my life and you don’t know the current situation of my life, but remember sitting and dwelling isn’t going to help you in any way.

It all comes down to your attitude towards the life. By changing your attitude you can change the way you see the new world

Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it — Charles Swindoll

Secret #2 - Do it for you

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We always try to do the things that makes other people like us. Yes you may not agree with me but that’s the problem with most of us.

We look for the external motivators so that we can get other people’s attention because it makes us feel good about ourselves!

Neil talks about this by sharing his own experience. He started a blog and it was doing really well. He set the goal for 50k hits and when he reached 50k he thought that 50k is nothing so he set the goal for 1m hits.

When he reached 1m hits he set the goal for 10m hits. He worked really hard and wrote the book “The book of Awesome” which made its way to the bestseller list.

And then he realised he wasn’t really satisfied. Whatever he was doing didn’t help him become a better person.

At this point the lesson to learn is –

Do it for you. Don’t do it for others.

Don’t make someone your motivation because you will not be satisfied if it is not what you want.

Ask yourself what you want and then do it for you!

Secret #3 - Remember the Lottery

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Be conscious of the more you want, and be conscious to remember how lucky you are to be where you are. Remember you have enough! Remember more isn’t always better.

Do you know what are the odds of becoming a human being?

400 Trillion to 1. Yes these are the chances for you to be born as a human. You have 10 thousand times more chance of getting struck by lightning than be born as a human.

In the whole universe you are lucky enough that you are here on earth!

You have won the biggest lottery of the whole universe!

You are so special and you have only one life so do what you always wanted to do!

Always remember the lottery!

Secret #4 – Just do it

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We all have a fear of doing something we really wanna do.

It may be public speaking, talking to strangers, starting a new blog, making a video or starting a new project.

So what we try to do is

Can Do -> Want To Do -> Do

But this doesn’t work. We do something and then we doubt ourselves and refrain from doing it again.

So what should we do? Instead of thinking so much about whether to do it or not, just do it!

Motivation doesn’t cause action. Action causes motivation.

Yes, if you wanna overcome fear of public speaking just speak, whether it is some meeting or discussion. Just say even a sentence but start and do it.

Because when you finally did it one time your confidence really increases which makes it very easy for you to do it again.

I can relate it with me. From past few days I was wondering whether I should write an article or not. I was spending too much thinking but then I said to myself what’s the worst thing that can happen?

A negative comment! Yes that’s the only worst thing that can happen but I don’t have to dwell on that, I can instead choose to learn where did I went wrong and how can I improve myself. So here I am writing this article!

So next time when you are thinking whether you can do it or not Just do it. And you will see the results.

Secret #5 - Be You

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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

We spend a lot of our time on thinking about our weaknesses and the things we can’t do. We dwell on our imperfections and then try to become like someone else.

“See that person is liked by everyone I want become like him”. No, no, no you don’t have to become like anyone else.

While it is really great to keep improving yourself and trying to become the best version of yourself. It is really painful to try to copy someone.

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your life

You are unique and hence your abilities and talents are also unique. Don’t try to copy others instead find the things you are good at and go 100% on them!

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony — Mahatma Gandhi

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