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

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  7,678 ratings  ·  727 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

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published March 31st 2015)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  7,678 ratings  ·  727 reviews

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Kerri W
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Being happy is something everyone has struggled with at least once in their lives. For the most part, happiness is taught to be the end product of great success which results from hard work.

This model is severely flawed because success doesn't always guarantee happiness. That doesn't stop there. We keep crossing milestones and setting bigger goals, so we are never satisfied.

What if we're happy first, then we work hard? Research shows that if we're happy, we tend to be more productive and we can
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
Had a great start but went downhill after that. The chapters on happiness and living longer were excellent but the rest of the book was a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the author’s positivity when covering the different subjects but it didn’t really get my interest. Could’ve been better.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 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 120 h
❀ Susan G
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Renee Amberg
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Demma Be
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
John Behle
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
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
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...
Rory Diamond
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
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This... was not a good listen. The best advice in this book comes in the form of watered down sentiments better expressed in any number of other fairly generic self-help books, except that the advice is tinged by Neil's own weirdly egotistic and largely unhelpful anecdotes from his own life.

The worst advice in the book was probably the bit talking about how a great way to get things done is to give yourself less time to do it. Not that the advice itself is that horrific, but his anecdote is talk
Vivian Perez
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! ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems that Pasricha assumes that we are all obsessed with what goes on at Harvard and that we all aspire to be like Harvard students? And he is here mythbusting saying that actually, Harvard students may not do everything right. Yeah, I get that. I never thought that they were the happiest and most successful people. Other than that, the book is pretty banal and basic.
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
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
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So thought provoking that I'm buying a copy to re-read and leave my own notes in. Highly recommend ...more
Oto Bakradze
ღირს წაკითხვად!

“Happines is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you”.
Dave Courtney
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
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author's tone is very cheery and there are some practical tips, especially for optimizing time. However he gives some simplistic and sometimes contradictory advice. For example, he says he would never make his passion his job, because it lessens enjoyment. Later in the book, he suggests using the "Saturday morning" test to find meaningful work - i.e. what do you do if you can do anything at all?
Also the fact he works for WalMart and his Harvard Business Bro-ness are kind of problematic and
Sarah V
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jasmin Mohd-zain
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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  ·  review of another edition
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??
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.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though lightly written and fun, it contains some good reminders.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of The Book of Awesome, I was excited to read this book. Pasricha introduces nine tips/guidelines for being a happier person. Written in short chapters with applicable stories, it is an accessible read for anyone.

On page 238 I loved this: "There is nothing more satisfying than being loved for who you are and nothing more painful than being loved for you you're not but pretending to be."

I also loved this line,"Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship in your lif
Vanessa Toth
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Anne L
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
This guy clearly has a good family with nice connections, he himself went to Harvard and has a nice high salary job at a young age. But what he doesn't know is that all of those things he had aren't really readily available for most young people out there. He talks as if life is so easy, not having to worry about a thing, just go with your heart, follow your ikigai, never retire, as if everyone's got a choice on everything. I came from a mediocre little family without much big connections, and m ...more
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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 eight books exploring how to live an intentional life including THE BOOK OF AWESOME (gratitude), THE HAPPINESS EQUATION (happiness), and Y

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