Books, Everything Else, Learning, Reviews

H is for Happiness

Do you have an equation or a formula for happiness? If yes, what is your happiness equation – do let me know? Happiness is so many things to so many people

To Charles Schulz, it is a warm puppy. What is it to you? And while I pondered that question, I realized that my H for this week should be –Happiness.

Speaking of happiness, and following up on my literary celebrations post earlier, I wanted to point out to my readers that the International Day of Happiness is celebrated later this month – on the 20th of March.

From the Happiness Day website:
The International Day of Happiness was founded on June 28, 2012, when the UN General Assembly adopted UN resolution 66/281 by consensus of all 193 member states. 

Now, the International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every March 20th, thanks in large part to the global partners around the world who share and spread happiness as global badging partners. ‘

What makes you happy?

As for me, these are some of the things that bring a smile to my face no matter how I am feeling:

  • Seeing my loved ones and an even more bigger my-own-smile guaranteed when I see them smiling/laughing/happy. This photo below of my mom and my daughter from years ago never fails to cheer me up. They were both caught up in the joy of the moment and it shows on their faces lighted with happiness.
Makes Me Happy
  • Spending time with loved ones, just spending time, doing..well, whatever (that doesn’t matter really)
  • Doing things I truly enjoy doing – like reading, for one! Or dancing, or drawing, or cooking (some dishes more than others), and then some more things too!
  • Knowing I brought a smile to someone else’s face makes me happy too
  • A little bit of silliness goes a long way too!

Dear Reader: So these are just a few of the things that make me happy. What about you? Let me know in the comments below

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Is there a Formula to Happiness? A Happiness Equation?

As I read and researched happiness, I discovered that many have come up with equations for happiness. Each one has its proponents and nay-sayers. But I leave it up to you to decide what you make of these:

Martin Seligman’s Happiness Equation:

Martin Seligman‘s equation for happiness in his book ‘Authentic Happiness states that ‘H = S + C + V’ where ‘H is your enduring level of happiness, S is your set range, C is the circumstances of your life, and V represents factors under your voluntary control. ‘

A little more on S or the biological set point: The idea here is that a major part of our happiness score is determined by genetics. It is almost as if we inherit a genetic “steersman” who steers us towards a specific level of happiness.

Authentic Happiness Seligman

Chip Conley’s Happiness Equation:

Chip Conley (in his book Emotional Equations) states that :

Happiness = Wanting What You Have / Having What You Want

Simple yet so true! This is definitely part of what defines our happiness. Being satisfied with what we have already have war with the grass is greener on the other side mentality to leave us happy or not so happy based on which side wins.

I had a sneak peak into this book and now am totally looking forward to reading it. You will likely see me reviewing it sometime in the future on my blog.

Chip Conley Emotional Equations

Jimmy at BeHappy101’s Happiness Equation:

Jimmy, the creator of the BeHappy101 website has his own formula for happiness and you can check this link for more details on this formula below and how to calculate your happiness score based on it:

H = (G + DH + C + 3R) ÷ 6
where happiness equals your gratitude level and how you live your life based on your definition of happiness along with your contributions to society/others as well as how well you rate at the 3Rs defined by Jimmy (Relationships/Rules/Regrets)
Note: I used this to score myself and looks like I am not as happy as I thought I feel! I scored a 7.5 out of 10 but then, I do not have a personal definition of happiness and that lowered my score on this particular formula. So I will retry once I do have one. Again, these are scores that might change based on the numbers we give to answer the questions based on current situation/time/mood

Mo Gawdat’s Happiness Equation:

Then we have Mo Gawdat, an engineer at Google (Chief Business Officer, Google [X]), who wrote the book ‘Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy‘. He says that ‘happiness follows a predictable equation’ which is as below:

Happiness is equal to or greater than your perception of the events of your life minus your expectation of how life should be.

Will I be reading this book? Most likely, yes. If I do, you will know of it!

Solve for Happy Mo Gawdat

And the PNAS’ Happiness Equation:

Then we have this formula that boggles my mind, that was the result of a research at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What it is simplified to is that your happiness is your expectations minus your reality. So, the way to be happy – lower your expectations and/or improve your reality!

The lead study author of this research, Robb Rutledge of University College, London, says,”Happiness doesn’t depend on how things are going. It depends on whether things are going better or worse than you had expected they would.”

Final Thoughts on Happiness Equations:

So what is the equation for happiness? And what do you think of these different happiness formulae?

Well, as for me, I am going to consciously make a note of what does make me happy, and work towards ensuring that there is more of that. Is there an equation for that?

I just started reading Neil Pasricha’s ‘The Happiness Equation‘ as a result of researching for this post. And so far, I am enjoying it. I will post a review of this book as well when I am done with it here on my blog.

The Happiness Equation Neil Pasricha


“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” 
― Dr. Seuss

And One Book To Increase Your Happy Quotient:

And here I leave you with a book that made me happy:

Your Happy Heart:

Your Happy Heart
by Amie Dean
National Center for Youth Issues
Children’s Fiction , Health, Mind & Body
Pub Date 19 Feb 2019

Goodreads || Amazon Book Depository|| Barnes and Noble

My Thoughts:

When I started reading this book, the first line made me smile. It reminded me of those times when my little ones were thrilled about having their book buddies from the older grades spend time with them; and then later, becoming buddies to the younger ones themselves. My daughter, and my friend’s littler daughter were especially thrilled that they were buddies in school.

Well, back to the book now.

When Javon is assigned to be Richard’s book buddy, he is thrilled at the chance. But Richard does not seem to be excited about being book buddies at all. However, as Javon spends time with Richard, he sees that Richard is dealing with problems similar to his own when he(Javon) was younger. That leads him to figure out exactly how to help his little buddy – it just needs a little bit of kindness, patience, friendship, and a little ‘Luck(y)’ !

The illustrations by Susan Keeter are a perfect accompaniment to the book. I especially loved seeing Richard’s smile grow as I turned the pages.

In Summary:

This is a sweet story that shows that each one of us is vulnerable yet strong; that each one of us has special gifts we can use to help others; that in helping others, we help ourselves too; and happiness multiplies when shared.

A book that will be sure to be appreciated by those who read it.

Additional Notes:

This is a great addition for classroom libraries. Teachers can use it for classroom discussions to show kids the value of friendship and helping others. School counselors and teachers can use the book and the tips/steps provided at the back of the book to help kids find what their unique gifts are and to help kids identify their feelings and deal with them.

Reading Level: 5 – 10 years

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the digital review copy of ‘Your Hungry Heart’. The opinions expressed are my own.

Linking this to ABC Wednesday for the letter H.

37 thoughts on “H is for Happiness

  1. Wow! I never realized that there were so many formulas out there to summarize or explain happiness. I am a much simpler person, not too good with formulas. Happiness to me is seeing those around me doing well, living their best life. And that international day of happiness should definitely be celebrated

  2. I love this! Everyone has different perspectives and finds happiness in different ways! I am most happy surrounded by those who I care for most and the experiences we have together! Thanks for sharing this! It always helps to put things into perspective! xo – Kam

  3. This is an interesting approach to happiness. While happiness should come from within, sometimes I think there are just so many other factors that can make it difficult to achieve happiness. I’ll have to check out this book.

  4. I was very impressed to learn that there is actually an equation that can find happiness. I think we do need to reduce what we can expect of life in certain situations in order to be happy. I think we expect everyone to think and act like we do, and I believe that is a bit unrealistic since we are all individuals.

    1. That last statement you make – I know what you are saying.. While i try not to, the mom-me sometimes does expect a bit more from the kiddos (while everywhere else i believe i am more practical and realistic)

      1. Happiness start in a simple little things. I think some people expect to much and when that expectation is not meet, they tend to get unhappy. They forget to just enjoy life, and appreciate everything that life gives or offer them.

  5. I never would have really thought that happiness as a formula. But if you really think about you put a few things together that do make you happy and there you go, you are happy.

  6. I think happy is a feeling and joy is a mindset/attitude. There may be some things that you aren’t happy about, but you can still feel joy and peace in the moment if you have that attitude. It’s great to feel happy, but I don’t think it should necessarily be the end goal.

  7. For me, Happiness comes in small doses. Like this morning, I woke up late, by back hurt and I already had a ton of emails to get through. But then, I got my toddler our of bed, gave him a big hug…and he held on tight and said “More Hug! More Hug Daddy!”

    We cuddled on the rocking chair and read a few books, all while he was hugging me tight and giggling.

    After that, I was even later for work, but that defined happiness for me.

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