Book review – The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

I’ve really been enjoying reading more recently and The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha* is one I’ve particularly enjoyed. It’s an unusual one as it wasn’t on my wishlist, I was simply browsing the psychology section in my local public library (even though I definitely don’t need to add more books to my ‘to read’ list!). What a gem to discover!

I was drawn into the book by its subtitle and one part in particular. It’s called:

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

The part that particularly appealed to me is the ‘Want Nothing’. As a coach, I spend a lot of my time supporting others (and myself) in the ‘Do Anything’ part of this; whether it’s establishing goals, identifying actions to move us towards our goals, challenging views that are holding us back, or building confidence to enable us to put plans into action. That’s all fantastic, though it can be a lot to manage and I’m all too aware of the value of sometimes stripping things back to appreciate them as they are. I always feel most content when I try to live a simpler life that is less busy and cluttered, and appreciate things just as they are, so that I can then focus on the things I really want to give time and energy to. The Happiness Equation really helped me get back into this mindset and has been really beneficial.

The book is structured around the equation so first focuses on wanting nothing, then doing anything, and how this will mean you have everything. Within each section there are a number of ‘rules’ as shown in the image below (don’t you just love the irony of the last one!).

Each rule has a few short sections so although the book is over 250 pages it’s broken down into short snippets so is quick and easy to read. I found this worked really well, and there were times when I wanted to pause to reflect on the previous point before moving on so having it structured in this way helped enable that (I hate leaving a book part-way through a chapter!).

I picked up some new tips that I’ve put into practice such as setting up my week so that I don’t have to make as many decisions as I go (meal planning, exercise schedule etc.). This frees my mind up and creates more space for me to focus on more important decisions.

The book includes practical tips and advice throughout. It’s a very accessible read; I read it in just over a week which is unusual for me! It also includes examples from the author’s own experiences, and hand-drawn diagrams and sketches which I really like, such as the one below about getting into a state of flow.

It’s rare that I give a book 5 stars on Goodreads but I did for The Happiness Equation* and I’d definitely recommend it. As mentioned I got my copy from the public library but I’m tempted to buy a version for future reference as it’s something I can imagine wanting to refer back to.

So pleased I found this book! ?

I’ve posted a video review on my YouTube channel which you can also watch below:

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