The Happiness Equation by Neil Parischa has the tagline- Want Nothing, Do Anything and Have Everything. This book shares many ideas of being happy, here I am sharing the key ideas with you in the form of a book summary.

IKIGAI- A reason to wake up in the morning

The people of Okinawa, an island in Japan, live the longest life in the world. A fascinating fact about these people is that they don’t have any word for retirement in their language. The reason being, they never retire in their life. They just work happily throughout their life. We have already seen how faulty the idea of retirement is in The 4 Hour Work Week. But these people implement that idea and still live the longest life in the world. Now the key question is- ‘How do these people live such a long life?’ Well, a key part of their life is IKIGAI, a Japanese term for ‘having a reason for being’. It is seen that when you have a reason to live, your happiness increases. Whereas the people with no idea where their life is going and what they want from it are often unhappy. Therefore every morning, when you wake up, have a reason/goal for the day. This reason/goal will provide a sense of direction to your day. Living every day with a sense of direction will give a direction to your life. Happiness brings longevity, therefore having a key guy(IKIGAI) will bring joy to your life resulting in a longer life.

How to make more money than a Harward MBA

It is believed that a person with an MBA degree from a renowned college makes more money than an average person. It is true that salary of Harvard alumni is generally higher than a community college alumni but the important point to note here is the amount of time they spend in work. They earn more simply because they work more. See the comparison below-

The Happiness Equation Summary

How to earn more than a Harvard MBA

Every profession pays wages per hour. A quick calculation will reveal that most of the professions pay almost the same wage per hour. People with high paying jobs work approximately 80 hours a week whereas low paid jobs have less working hours. So how to make more money than a Harvard graduate? In his detailed article Neil Pasricha says, if you overvalue your time you will start making more money per hour. But first, you need to calculate how much money you are making per hour. It is not necessary to make more money. The point is that you can make more money by working more. And you can make even more money by overvaluing your time. But if you overvalue you, then you will be working more on what you enjoy. Doing what you love will bring more happiness in your life than doing something which pays more money.

Read the Lean Startup Summary also so that if you have an idea of a startup or business then this idea can be implemented properly.

Add an Hour to your day

Adding an hour to your day will add approximately a month to your year. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one more month in your year? So how do you add an hour to your day? Simply by cutting out distractions. Spend less time in activities which waste your time. Block access to yourself. When you stay focused and do deep work, then you get more amount of work done in less amount of time. If you stick to your rule then you will end up having a lot of time for yourself. Remember my previous post about The One Thing? This concept is very similar to that. You can use it to bring merriment to your life.

The ‘Do’ Circle

Whenever we are faced with a new task, we think in a linear way. First, we see whether we Can Do it? Then we decide whether we Want to Do it? And if we want, then we Do it.

The Happiness Equation Summary

The Happiness Equation Summary

But Neil Pasricha says that instead of being linear, the process should be circular. We should do the things first to know whether we can do it. Once we know we can do it, our increased motivation will make us want to do it. And hence we will do it and start growing. Once the circle starts running, it will become a constant source of the feelings of accomplishments. Feeling accomplished will make you feel more confident and happy.

The Happiness Equation Summary

The Do Circle. The Happiness Equation

This circle can make your life delightful.

Controllable Goals

We have already seen ideas similar to this one in The Subtle Art of not giving a F and Awaken the Giant Within. The idea is to not to set goals which are not in our control. Set goals which you can control. Goals like losing 10 pounds, earning 10 grand from blogs, getting one million visitors on my website, are all the goals which are dependent on others, and hence they are not in my control. But if I make goals like exercising for an hour daily, writing a great quality blog every week, creating two good quality images for my blog posts every week, then these goals will be totally in my control. Having controllable goals will help me in having more control over my life. I will be able to live more contented life if I have my goals in my control.

Not Taking Advice

The author advises us in not taking advice from others and do what we think is right. The reason behind this advice is that others will advise us on the basis of what they experienced. But it is not necessary that whatever happens to others will happen to us also. Most good pieces of advice look correct to us because they are designed to suit the circumstances. In one situation, saying ‘Actions speak louder than words’ may look correct. But you cannot deny the correctness of the exact opposite saying- ‘Pen is mightier than the sword.’ Some more examples-

  • Half knowledge is dangerous. Something is better than nothing.
  • Birds of a feather, flock together. Opposite attracts.
  • The face is the index of the mind. Appearance is often deceptive.

So do not rely on pieces of advice as they are just meant to suit the situations. Take your own decisions for your happiness.

The Happiness Equation Summary

The Happiness Equation Summary

Other Ways

Journal- Write a journal of incidences which made you feel happy. Writing down even the smallest of such incidences will emphasize their effect and your cheerfulness will become stronger.Whenever you feel down, just pick up this journal and start reading it and see your mood lighten up immediately. Random Acts of Kindness- Performing random acts of kindness is another way of increasing well-being. Writing them in your journal would also be a great idea.
Gratitude Journal- Maintaining a gratitude journal has many advantages.  According to Huffington Post, it can help to help in reducing stress, feeling calm at night, increasing focus on important things, and many more problems of life. So this was the book summary of The Happiness Equation by Neil Parischa.