This brief review of Mo Gawdat’s “Solve for Happy” reveals that mindfulness is truly the solution for happiness,
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Mo Gawdat, author of best-seller “Solving for Happy”, was rich, successful, famous, fulfilled, but by his own admission, desperately unhappy.
He realized that he had mistakenly assumed, as everyone else does, that happiness would be a natural result of conventional success. So he applied his amazing analytic and engineering skills to developing an algorithm for happiness.
He came up with an equation which postulates that our Happiness will be greater than or equal to our perceptions of external events, minus our expectations for those events. This is getting extremely close to what mindfulness is all about.
Mo Gawdat then goes on to outline his 6-7-5 framework for adjusting our perceptions and expectations of the world, basically a formula for mindfulness.
He begins by delving into the Six Grand Illusions most of us have, delusions which warp our expectations of the world, thus warping our perceptions, and ultimately decreasing our happiness.
The first grand illusion is the illusion of thought: that is, identifying with our thoughts, and mistakenly believing that our thoughts are the real us.
They are not!
The voice in your head can serve you, but far more often takes over your consciousness and takes you out of the present, making you anxious, sad, and out of the present.
Realizing this is solving for happiness, and is also the essence of mindfulness!
The second illusion is the illusion of self. Just as we believe our thoughts and emotions are the true us, we also invest far too much energy into the delusion that our names, families, tribes, and beliefs are who we’re all about.
We’re not any of these things, so much as we are the OBSERVER, the true, eternal you who witnesses your thoughts and emotions, and who is far greater than your ego attachments and life story.
The third illusion is the illusion of knowledge. We’re constantly overestimating how much we know about things, forming opinions and getting emotional over assumptions, which are more often than not untrue, or at least woefully incomplete.
We must take the learner’s view, as did Socrates, which is to know how little we know. Then we are constantly in a condition to learn and appreciate, living in the present, another cornerstone of Mindfulness!
The fourth illusion is the illusion of time. Time itself is an illusion! Even though we have standardized ways to measure it, the fact that everyone experiences time differently depending on the situation shows that it is an unreliable measure of true experience.
Past and future are utterly fictional, albeit useful, concepts, yet the fact is we spend most of our waking hours living in either one. Living in the past makes us sad; living in the future makes us anxious. Only living in the now, being present, is sanity, reality, and the greatest tenet of mindfulness.
The fifth illusion is the illusion of fear. Yes, the emotion of fear is real, but identifying with fear, and letting it influence our perceptions and experience is a habit we MUST conquer.
The final illusion is the illusion of control. No matter how much planning you do, how many preventative measure you take, the unexpected CAN and WILL happen. The best you can do is prepare responsibly and surrender the illusion of control.
Only in this way will you be action-biased, knowing that the cost of doing nothing is always higher than the cost of making mistakes.
We hope you enjoy this brief review of “Solve for Happy”. You can buy the book here (not an affiliate link):
Don’t forget that you can also get our free six-lesson course on achieving mindfulness, the foundational habit for being healthy and happiness at
Wishing You All True Health and Happiness,