Practical insights for leaders

What if happiness is a choice?

Most of my clients are fortunate enough to earn enviable salaries, yet simultaneously, they often feel burned out, stuck, or practise multi-year delayed gratification. It leads me to ask, is it really a choice between money and happiness? Or is there another way? [Spoiler alert – Yes]. Mo Gawdat shares an interesting perspective on this below.


LISTEN: The Happiness Expert, Mo Gawdat | The Diary of a CEO | 118 mins

Mo Gawdat is the former Chief Business Officer at Google X (Google’s futuristic ‘dream factory’).  In response to the loss of his college-aged son, he used his engineer’s mindset to create an ‘equation for happiness’. His equation states that: if you perceive the events of your life as equal to or greater than your expectations of how life should behave, then you’re happy. But the key point is this; it’s not the event that makes us unhappy –  it’s the way we think about it that does.

My key takeaway from this excellent podcast? So much of our negative thinking comes from ruminating on the past and worrying about the future. If we were to give ourselves the luxury of living in the ‘now’, we would avoid so much needless angst.


Examine Your Thinking: ‘Thought Records’ can be used to surface the interplay between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

When it comes to creating more useful neural pathways, thought records are a great place to start. See for yourself by trying this tool:  Thought Records (PDF).  


I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but this would be a healthy commitment to make…