engineering happiness

Adam and Jeannie discuss engineering happiness for true success with Mo Gawdat, author of Solve for Happy.

About our guest

As Google [X]’s Chief Business Officer, his team is responsible for exploring “moonshot” dreams like the much-lauded self-driving car and providing global internet access by using sub-orbital balloons. For being at the top of a “dream team” though, Mo realized in 2001 that he was miserably unhappy and spirits were far from sailing above the clouds. So he did the one thing he knew how to do better than anything: he put his engineering experience to work and, by using data and research, he created an algorithm and “solved” happiness.

Thirteen years later, Mo’s algorithm would be put to the ultimate test. After the sudden, senseless death of his son Ali, Mo and his family turned to his equation which saved them from the depths of despair. With a new sense of purpose and a drive to honor his son’s memory he began the #10MillionHappy Mission designed to make at least that many people realize that happiness is within their control.

Connect with Mo


Engineering happiness for true success

We often think to ourselves that if we get what, where or who we want in our lives, then we’ll be happy. We look to successful individuals, and they seem so happy to us!

But correlation is not necessarily causation where success and happiness intersect. Why is it, as humans, we’re never quite as happy as we thought we’d be once get what we want?

As an engineer, our guest Mo Gadwat sought to research, understand and solve this problem after a tragedy involving his son. He observed that we often look to outside factors, the things we can’t control, to evaluate our own happiness. To make matters worse, we often cling to things we can control, like worries, sadness and emotional pain.

Through touching stories and extensive research, Mo shares how he overcame his own sadness and used it as a catalyst for positive change. What is your equation for happiness? How can you apply this to the intersection of success and happiness for your customers?

Listen in to bring success to your happiness, and happiness to your success.

Interview highlights

  • How does an engineer end up writing a book about happiness? [3:15]
  • Why must we solve happiness, rather than simply find it? [6:00]
  • How does Mo’s approach inspire innovation, and ultimately, happiness, for customers? [8:15]
  • How does social comparison factor into the happiness equation? [11:15]
  • Mo describes how his tragedy became a catalyst for positive change. [14:45]
  • Mo reveals ways we unconsciously choose to sabotage our own happiness. [18:30]
  • What’s the purpose behind the #10MillionHappy hashtag? [21:30]

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