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The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,089 ratings  ·  487 reviews
What’s the formula for a happy life?  

Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a Walmart executive, a New York Times–bestselling author, and a husband and dad. After selling more than a million copies of his Book of Awesome series, he now shifts his focus from observation to application.

In The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing, do anything, and have eve
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published March 31st 2015)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,089 ratings  ·  487 reviews

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Kerri W
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I loved the Awesome books and have read a fair amount about positive psychology and happiness. Unfortunately, for me, this book just didn't add any value. In general, it oversimplified concepts in an effort to make it digestible or to share anecdotes. It felt a little contrived when all was said and done. Very quick, lighthearted read, and likely fine if you're new to the idea of self-reflection or happiness exploration, but if you've read anything about habits ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people getting paid by author to write positive review
Biggest disappointment ever.
I am a HUGE fan of the 'awesome' books....all 5 stars.
This tripe is an annoying read. You will be HAPPIER if you don't waste your time reading this.
More to come on why this is the worst book.

Hint.....NEVER is means everything!
Hint...i am a harvard mba....did i tell you i am a harvard hardvard mba friends have basketball courts in their house, but they aren't happy.....we had marble floors at harvard...we harvard mbas work really hard, like 12
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the fav non-fiction books I have ever read. It clearly states what you need to do in order to become a happier version of yourself.

What I learned from this book:
-you have to be youself, find your deepest wants and desires
-to become happy you need to know thyself
-do not take advice only you get to know your path
-you are average of people you hang out with, so make sure they are people who you admire
-eliminate unnecessary decisions in your life
-live to the fullest
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Заримдаа зөв цагтаа зөв юмаа олж унших ч гоё шүү.

It is an awesome book! There are various tips and ideas. In general, he suggested 9 secrets or rules how to be a happy. No doubt, you already knew some of them, but it is better to refresh your mind.
Also, I really liked the examples demonstrated using Buddha and Daniel Kahneman's stories. You can also check his blog called

Happy reading! Be cool!
❀ Susan G
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Many of you have likely heard of The Book of Awesome. This was written by Canadian author, Neil Pasricha who was to present at the Toronto Reference Library. Inspired by this upcoming event, The Happiness Equation made it to my TBR pile. Unfortunately, the event has been postponed.

The book has an appealing cover - the bright blue balanced with a yellow smiling face encourages a reader to choose it off the shelf. It has an easy cadence of text, encouraging examples and highlights some interesting
John Behle
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Ugh, just what we needed...another must-have book on happiness, complete with the ubiquitous smiley face on the cover.

We all know the book store aisles are covered to a depth of six feet with how-to manuals on happiness. This one is different enough, funny enough and short enough that it stands out.

I liked it as Canadian native Pasricha offers contrarian, iconoclastic views, not grinning, back-slap style advice. That is one of his main points--do not mindlessly accept advice. Happiness comes f
Alexander Fitzgerald
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book six stars I would.

I am not a man who likes self-help books. Due to what a crutch they were during a really nasty time in my life, I am prone to hate them more than anything. I despise their circular and contrarian nature. The repetition of advice that couldn't possibly stick gets on my nerves. You could literally read one page of cliff notes for most of the "best" books on happiness and you probably wouldn't miss much.

That's precisely what I've done for a long time. I u
Vivian Choi
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just because the themes and insights are simple, doesn't mean that the book is badly written. I liked it. I learned some new research and information about happiness, confidence and life in general that I haven't read in other self-help books. Definitely a book to read and reference in the future. The key points are ones that are applicable to every day in an adult life. Highly recommend!
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
While I agree with very much of what Pasricha says, most of the evidence for his claims is in the form of quotes from famous people, rather than empirical or scientific evidence...
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
a great book. I am usually skeptical about this kind of readings but this one was really useful to me as it had very practical advice towards self development.
Ashley Auspelmyer
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was friendly, accessible, easy to read, a quick read, but also meaningful. It is a book I feel I will need to read again and again because its message is both powerful and empowering. For the large part, it reveals truths we "already know," but it adds layers of storytelling and practical applications that make it new. I am considering having my high school students read this book, in part because I would have benefitted to have read it earlier and thereby wasted le ...more
Dave Courtney
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Pasricha's entry in to the world of happiness mantras, self help books and to do lists is certainly not the worst of the bunch. Typically these books attempt to mash up some good, helpful advice with a pre-packaged list of steps that promises to help change your life. This is certainly here, represented as something of a power point presentation with easy to follow labels and well marked chapter portions (you could really pick up at any point along the way and navigate the material quite well). ...more
Rory Diamond
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I think this book is important and a good introduction for those who have never deeply considered their own happiness. It provided nice little insights and general guidelines of how to be happy. With that in mind, this book doesn't really provide concrete and analytically backed answers, or even many actionable items of how to be happier. It is a bit fluffy in that way. I would recommend it as an introduction, but for anyone who considers the topic deeply and is truly interested in increasing th ...more
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Book Giveaway.

My first impression of this book was that it was a little gimmicky, with the chapter titles written like teasers on a magazine cover and the little hand-written scribbles, as well as being a little condescending in tone. However, I ended up really liking this book because it is simultaneously easy-to-read and easy-to-apply. With short little chapters and a conversational tone, the book can easily be read in one sitting. Even though it is e
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I can’t make up my mind about this book, so I gave it 3 stars.

There are interesting things in here - I highlighted a lot of things - but those were mostly quotes from other people.

It HAS made me think which is always a good thing.

In the end, it was a bit choppy. And the last “rule” for happiness is “Don’t Take Advice”.

Isn’t that what this book is - advice about how to be happy??
Jasmin Mohd-zain
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Happiness is a subjective thing. What makes me happy may make you utterly miserable.
But we all have the choice to be happy, no matter what. Because being happy is a state of mind, not an exact science.

I liked this book. It is simple , down to earth and easy to do in my daily life.
The trick is to remember to do this every day. Neil has given me a good mental tag.

"Remember the lottery."

To know what the hell that means, my friend gotta read the book. Go ahead.
It is worth your time.
Jakes Espach
Very interesting and inspiring read with lots of practical advice that you can start implementing in your life. The real value of the book will probably become clear, though, when I start implementing the advice in my own life in the weeks to come. Will try to remember to write an update about how the book has impacted my life.
Sarah V
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Don't get me wrong, there were some good nuggets in this book, but the number of times that a chapter would include like 5 quotations basically as a list kind of had me rolling my eyes (that's how we all made word counts stretch in middle school, amiright?). Also, the author's interpretation of fact and what has been proven was a bit worrying (not to mention the lack of a bibliography given the number of studies he highlights in the book!). I think some of the ideas were good, and there were som ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book 5 stars not because it was revolutionary, but because it is one of the few books where I could take away many tangible and thought-provoking actions in this journey we call life.

He simplifies a lot of the complexity that we generally see the world with, and provides points that we can ask ourselves. What makes it even better is he points out that all these theories on happiness have been documented by many famous people before us, if only we can listen, and listen to ourselves
Renee Amberg
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite self help books because of the simplicity and organization of the lessons. If you like getting straight to the point, stories, examples, and quotes you will love this as much as I did. Thanks Neil Pasricha!
Eliot Burdett
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Its always the simple things. Nothing that has not been written elsewhere, just a lot of great stuff in one place.
bri t
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
amazing! i learned so much
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended by Michael Kindness. This is some good stuff here especially instruction about self reflection but I still can't bring myself to quit my job :-)
Sarrah Basma
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Some very valuable information and advice in this book, but some very useless crap also. Some things were also worded a bit odd.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a few chapters to get into it, which may have had a lot to do with hiking while listening to the audiobook, because Pasricha read it himself and takes a tone I can't picture outside the context of being unintentionally very patronizing to children. But while I may not enjoy the author's style, there are some gems of advice around ideas like happiness coming before optimal productivity, making sure to spend time in each quadrant of [doing/not doing] X [thinking/not thinking], being awa ...more
Douglas Gibson
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked this book in the beginning, I almost aborted it in the middle, but then it peaked my interest again in the end- earning it an overall "it was ok" rating from me. This book is mostly just a collection of interesting and inspirational stories with no real strategies or practices to put into place. I liked many of these stories and even plan to share some of them with my students, but at the end of this book I feel mostly unsatisfied and wanting something more.
Raman K
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really loved this book, had a lot of great messages in it. I thought that it was well written and easy to understand. I even appreciated all the research and the easy examples. This is a type of book you have to read often because you need to continuously remind yourself on what it takes to be happy. Its a lot harder than it seems, given how we live in society. I highly recommend this one!
Nopadol Rompho
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book for two reasons. Number one, it is very easy to read and understand. Number two, it is really helpful.

Although I have read a lot of books about being happy, this one gave several of fresh ideas that you can really follow.

It's worth your time and money, strongly recommended!
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good audio book.
Simplified into 9 memorable principles which are doable and well explained.
It helps that Neil referenced a lot of research in defense of a point or to explain the origin of a particular concept.
I liked the book a lot and would highly recommend it
Nadja (fit-and-beautiful-heart-reads)
3.5 out of 5 stars. In depth review to come.

I enjoyed this. It was informative although most things weren't new to me, some were and it was portrait in an easy to understand way. Quick to read as well.
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How this book disappointed you 1 22 Apr 21, 2016 06:32PM  

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Hey Goodreads peeps,

Pass me a drink. Let's chill on the ripped couch at the back. I love this place. Book lovers are my favorite people. (And my favorite lovers.)

My name is Neil Pasricha (PASS-REACH-AH) and I'm the New York Times-blah-blah bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome series. My books have published a lot of languages I can't read, spent eight years and over
“Start doing something, you'll continue.. why? Because motivation doesn't cause action. Action causes motivation.” 6 likes
“Thomas Jefferson said, “Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any.” 6 likes
More quotes…