The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

I am all about being happy and positive in life so why read about it you may ask? I believe that like anything in life-happiness is a continuous cup that needs to be filled throughout life! What made us happy when we were kids is a lot different now-but that doesn’t mean I won’t say no to some chocolate ice cream!

I have always been a reader-usually pick up a book and put it down only to pick up later-this book was not that kind of book! I literally had my nose in it from the beginning to the end finishing it in less than a day! The author, Neil Pasricha writing style feels as though he’s like a close friend sharing his stories with you complete with his own scribbles to bring points home to the reader.  Another reason I felt lost in this book is because of how he labeled his chapters-they were instead called “Secrets” -so naturally I wanted them all ha-ha! No, but seriously it keeps the reader engaged and wanting more and learning from him and what he found to be the secret to happiness.

In these secrets or chapters-one that I believed I could incorporate into my life was the “7 ways to be happy right now” which included random acts of kindness and gratitude. Sounds simple- but are they really? It’s easy to forget to be grateful for things in life or to do random acts of kindness when you have a bad day or dealing with a heavy heart! I believe that these simple things alone help to turn a frown upside down or the very least make your challenges in life not seem so big!

One secret of this book was self-acceptance- from “3 simple steps to self-acceptance.” sounds daunting right? I thought so too-this guy is a Harvard grad-how could I have something in common with him? He also had problems with self-acceptance and lived to write about it! I read this section and a lightbulb went off and realized I was doing what he did and also, learned how to change my thinking! I really loved that even though the author, Neil Pasricha could have written this book from a business view point, he didn’t-instead he included many of his own personal stories and learning experiences to show how happiness affects all areas of your life.

Another secret that I took to heart was learning about was from “What can the healthiest one-hundred-year-olds in the world teach us?” “Ikigai (pronounced like “icky guy) which roughly means “the reason you wake up in the morning.” I learned that not only was this part of the Japanese culture but also instrumental in being a reason for their long-life spans! I loved his idea and what he did with his Ikigai which inspired me also.

A favorite secret was from “Removal #1: How to make every decision at twice the speed.”  Who doesn’t have difficulties with decision making? I totally admit I am not the fastest picking a place to eat, what nail color to wear, even sometimes my plans for the day-but reading this chapter or (Secret) made me realize not only the importance of speed because of how much time was being wasted being indecisive but also giving myself fewer choices to make the decision from. This chapter I really valued because I find myself not stressing over decisions nearly as much as before.

In addition to secrets the author also suggests “3 simple tests to uncovering the secret inside you.” to the reader which sounds entirely too much like school but stay with me on this one because these tests help to make you really think about what makes you happy from a different view point than I’d read elsewhere. These tests are also great to implement in life when making decisions or figuring something out.

Overall this book felt more like long conversation with my favorite professor that had traveled the globe understanding happiness and sharing his stories letting the reader figure it out for themselves.  I am beyond glad I read this because I felt connected to the stories, learned about myself and my happiness needs and desires in all areas of my life.



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