How do you rediscover happiness when a tragic event has happened in your life?
It’s a question that would probably be met with the suggestion of therapy, or allowing for the passage of time.
However, one man says he has come up with a mathematical solution.
Mo Gawdat was miserable for several years in his twenties and thirties despite his high-flying job, income and happy family unit. Determined to turn this around Gawdat, an engineer by trade who is now an executive at Google, formulated an equation for happiness.
A couple of years later, he put this to the test when his 21-year-old son Ali died unexpectedly in what should have been a routine operation.
He has now shared the secrets to his formula for being happy – no matter what life throws at you – in his new book Solve For Happy.
I must say I was nearly in tears while hearing Mo Gawdat’s story of how he has learned how to be happy no matter what is going on.
Mo is a highly intelligent man, some might even classify him as a genius. To back this up he has always enjoyed professional success and wonderful family relationships.
If you’ve ever heard of Google’s amazing branch X, you know they’re the geniuses who are working on self-driving cars and a world-wide network of balloons that would give internet access everywhere.
Mo runs that company.
Check out the video below to find out exactly what his formula is:
What really struck me most about Mo is how applied his formula to his own situation following the death of his son which is probably one of the worst things any human can be forced to suffer.
Gawdat says there is a difference between pain and suffering (and “losing a child is incredibly painful”). Pain is what protects you from further suffering and is the “body’s mechanism to keep us alive”. Suffering, on the other hand, is not useful, instead, it is a cycle where a thought just causes further suffering by feelings of guilt. It is not useful thinking. Pain should be enough of a motivation to change and improve your happiness rather than the endless cycle of suffering, Gawdat says.
“The minute I feel the pain of Ali’s death, which I feel every time I miss him, I think what can I do about it? How can I make the world slightly better even though Ali is not in it?”
Gawdat says everyone can take on this approach, however, acknowledges for people with depression and mental health problems it is definitely not that simple.