Today is the International Day of Happiness the global movement for shaping a happier world. How happy are you on a scale of 1 - 10? And how happy are your family, friends and work colleagues? Mo Gawdat is the Google [X] engineer and author of Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path To Joy. He is on a personal mission to help one billion people become happier. He says the global moonshot #onebillionhappy "may be the most important mission of our time." In an exclusive interview, Gawdat shared his three steps for launching a global moonshot for happiness.
1. Make Happiness A Priority.
So how can you achieve happiness in your own life? "Start by making happiness a priority," says Gawdat. "To be happy doesn't mean to be naïve or even challenging. Happy people on average are 12 percent more productive than those who are not. This means more growth, more productivity and faster learning. It's a wise choice for any leader. But the trick is this: If you decide to have a happy work culture, you must declare that happiness is a top priority. It's a choice. And when other things contradict with that priority, choose happiness. Next, you must apply the simple rules of happiness on a daily basis: set clear expectations, hold yourself and each other to account and remember that happiness is about we, not me."
2. Develop Happiness Skills.
Gawdat proposes an algorithm based on a practical understanding of how the brain processes joy and sadness. Put that in an equation and it's elegantly simple. "Happiness is equal to or greater than the difference between the way you view the events in your life minus your expectations about how life should behave. Which means that if you perceive the events as equal to or greater than your expectations, you're happy--or at least not unhappy." This is the secret of happiness. Put another way, happiness happens when life seems to be going your way. You feel happy when life plays out the way you expect it too. The opposite holds true too. He says "If you can change your thinking and you change your approach to life's events you will find happiness."
3. Tell Two People Who Will Tell Two People.
The final step is about creating a global movement of happiness using the power of exponential thinking. Gawdat says: "the final step is about compassion multiplied 10 [X]. You shouldn't just prioritize your own happiness. Pay it forward. At the core of the #onebillionhappy is a very simple exponential function. If you believe in it you will tell at least two people who will tell two other people and so on. It's not crazy, together we can make it happen."
Reboot Your Happiness.
The message is clear: humans are hard-wired to be happy. Gawdat's global moonshot for happiness might just help us get there sooner.