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Publisher's Summary

Solve for Happy is a startlingly original book about creating and maintaining happiness, written by a top Google executive with an engineer's training and fondness for thoroughly analyzing a problem.

In 2004 Mo Gawdat, a remarkable thinker whose gifts had landed him top positions in half a dozen companies and who - in his spare time - had created significant wealth, realized that he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would, examining all the provable facts and scrupulously following logic. When he was finished, he had discovered the equation for enduring happiness.

Ten years later that research saved him from despair when his college-age son, Ali - also intellectually gifted - died during routine surgery. In dealing with the loss, Mo found his mission: he would pull off the type of moonshot that he and his Google [X] colleagues were always aiming for - he would help 10 million people become happier by pouring his happiness principles into a book and spreading its message around the world.

One of Solve for Happy's key premises is that happiness is a default state. If we shape expectations to acknowledge the full range of possible events, unhappiness is on its way to being defeated. To steer clear of unhappiness traps, we must dispel the six illusions that cloud our thinking (e.g., the illusion of time, of control, and of fear); overcome the brain's seven deadly defects (e.g., the tendency to exaggerate, label, and filter); and embrace five ultimate truths (e.g., change is real, now is real, unconditional love is real).

By means of several highly original thought experiments, Mo helps listeners find enduring contentment by questioning some of the most fundamental aspects of their existence.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying photographs will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Mo Gawdat (P)2016 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What listeners say about Solve for Happy

Average Customer Ratings
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The best audio book to wrap up 2020

2020 has been a weird strange year in every possible way. Mo brings a perspective to life and death in this beautiful book. Very insightful, scientific at times, poignant at others , sprinkled with humour and creativity. I highly recommend spending quality time with this book! Thank you Mo! Will surely be returning time and again to the wisdom of your words.

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Well written, but lacks a powerful punch

This book is touching and well written, but the author often seems to lose his path and rambles about irrelevant things and doesn’t give a conclusive picture of how to be happy and doesn’t emphatically share his exact happiness equation. There’s a lot that’s interesting such as his take on death and how to control our rambling thoughts. But overall it lacked a real punch and fell flat.

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Good read, thanks Mo for sharing this with us.

Writer tries to back belief with facts, which was fun to read. Altogether a great read!!
Ali you sound like an absolute superstar of a human being, rest in peace my brother, I m sure you are in a better place.

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Beautifully expressed

Beautifully expressed all that the author felt and wanted us to tell. And one will eventually get to know Ali, his son so well. The realities which now feel so misunderstood and realities which were ignored will surface. Happiness equation one take away would be to live in the moment. live each moment.

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This Book will change Your life!

Such a lovely father and son duo they are! Ali's departure is really painful.. but the way the father has faced it.....its phenomenal! Thank you Ali! Lots of love Mo!

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I never thought that audible book could be so interesting. Very well narrated & amazing story. Very well explained.excellent wor

I liked everything in this book. Everyone must read this book. This book has inspired me to follow to become a better person.

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  • JulietC
  • 14-10-17

Life-changing and moving

Too much foto a single listening, need to listen ti it again to fully appreciate.
In the meantime, a heartfelt huge thank you to the author for sharing his research on happyness so clearly and sincerely. A big hug and thank you again. Awesome job

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  • Niel
  • 26-07-17

1 of the Top 3 best books i have listened to

I enjoyed the authors voice , a very calming authentic human voice , the book offers both insight into practical steps to take to be happy , i especially enjoyed listening to the parts about his son Ali , it sounds like Ali was such a wonderful young man that understand alot more about humanity as well , really good to see and feel how much love existed between Mo and his son Ali , wonderful book have already recommended to so many people - goes beyond the normal western approaches and i could relate to . Thank you Mo Gawdat .

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  • William Kristjánsson
  • 13-07-17

Mo Gawdat solved my happiness equation

Mo inspired me with his sincere and honest stories. I owe him everything. Thank you.

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  • Susana
  • 21-11-20

A wake up call to enjoy life.

I smiled, I cried, I stopped for several moments because it was so hard to continue knowing the struggle Mo was going through putting this wonderful words together for us.
At the end, in a nutshell “Solve for happy” is a gift for the soul, reading it is a transformative experience. Thanks Alli, thanks Mo. Gracias

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-10-20

A reminder that you control your happiness

No what what life throws your way, there is only so much you can control

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  • Susan Elisabeth Hursey
  • 17-05-20

The best book about happiness ever

This man does not claim to be a guru. His ideas are there to be challenged and explored, but I loved his delivery, his voice is delightful and his ideas made me think. It was a wonderful listen.

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  • Yehuda Einav
  • 12-02-19

Just amazing

There's no way for me to describe how this book showed me life and love.
Thank you mo I wish I could meet you and thank you.
And for you to meet Ali. All of my love to you.

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  • Luz Helena
  • 28-11-18

Emotional and rational at the same time.

I loved this book. Mo was such a familiar voice. Poignant and thought provoking. Highly recommended.

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  • Joep Gerrits
  • 25-11-18

Great story, audio quality disappoints

I started this book in paperback but switched to Audio because I noticed that I couldn’t get myself to sit down and read.

I love the story but I notice that it’s almost impossible to hear him well if you’re on the road..

@Audible, is there be any chance that the overall audio level is increased on this book?

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  • Roland Wamara
  • 04-08-18

Great book!

The book provides an understanding of life principles and happiness in ways that most books cannot convey. The engineering approach to happiness mixed with an emotional story of who and what inspired the author makes this book one that anyone can relate to. I would recommend this to anyone. Thanks Mo!

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  • Shaun R.
  • 09-07-17

A very disappointing, if predictable end...

I picked up some great tips from this book, don't get me wrong. However, given the title, I expected a little more from the author's main point than "There is life after death".

I can't help but think that all the arguments and strategies that came before are undermined after he reveals that actually, the only idea that really helped was the belief in an afterlife.

There were hints of this throughout. Namely, when talking about the sense of self and who you are, he goes into a lot of effort to say that there is more to you than your thoughts, body, and desires. Rather than completing his train of thought and simply saying there is no such thing as the "self", he just says you are the "observer". Great. Well done, you've replaced one word with another, worse analogy for a soul.

This is just one example of the ideas in this book not being followed through because of an underlying restrictive belief system. I was actually becoming quite angry at some points because of fallacious logic or incomplete discussions.

There is a whole chapter dedicated to god, in which he outlines the good-old appeal from randomness argument. He goes to a huge amount of words/effort to state that the universe is complex and therefore there is a god (and therefore, inexplicably, an afterlife).
I just wanted to shout at him: complexity is NOT randomness! His arguments are deliberately misleading and harmful.

Basically, I learned a lot about my beliefs after reading this book, mainly in opposition to his.

The take-home points from this book, which I have taken to heart, are essentially:
1. You are not *just* your thoughts
2. Distract yourself with happier thoughts
3. Happiness is the default state, not something to *acquire*
4. Be present in the present

These four points are good enough. Save yourself 11 hours, stick with those 4 points.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Graham Thompson
  • 29-03-18

Life changing!

I was recommended this book by a client of mine and I am so grateful for the recommendation. This story is so powerful and Mo’s views on life and death have been simply life changing for me. I’ve always had an agnostic outlook but Mo’s views on whether we are just here as a chance event or by design have really resonated with me. I’ve listened to the various beliefs and religions, but nothing has struck a chord with me like this book has.

I am so grateful for Mo presenting his thoughts and beliefs in such a clear way for others to benefit. He’s had to experience a hugely challenging situation and to turn that whole situation into something for the huge benefit of others is just amazing.

Thank you for this book Mo.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 17-05-17

Excellent...up until the last chapter

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Delete the chapter on God. When I first started listening to this book I thought it was fascinating, insightful and endearing. Mo's story and his logical approach to finding the solution to his happiness was convincing and I was totally sold...Until I read his chapter on God. Out of the window went the logic, reason and insight and in came a set of arguments that were so misinformed it made me angry. it was like I was listening to an audio tour at a creation museum.I was so disappointed that someone who's ideas and arguments seemed so intelligent and persuading throughout the rest of the book resorted to the weak and uninformed arguments of a young earth believer.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

His approach to thinking about what really matters was inspiring, his opinions on a higher power were not.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes, the narration and passion was felt throughout.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

43 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-03-17

fantastic narrative of a complex subject made easy

Loved it!! I foresee this becoming as renowned as "the power of now" but much easier to listen to and understand. fantastic metaphysical book told through a very personal story and logic.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 28-08-19

Recommended to everyone

I rarely write reviews, but this book is fantastic.
Mo has a quirky narrators accent, which at first seems a little strange compared to the professionally narrated audiobooks. However, as you get used to it, you realise that this adds so much to the book. It’s a personal story of tough life experience that has brought tears to the eyes of the toughest of my friends. Mo has a real scientific brain and methodically creates and solves the happy equation. It’s an absolute joy to listen to and a down to earth, antidote to the rah rah, grind harder, go crush it rhetoric of many self development books. Listen to this book now. You will not regret it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Knight
  • 24-07-19

One to reread as so much contnet to process

I have read many "self development" and business books over the years, this one would be in my top 5 books to read. The content is powerful and written in a way that is engaging, amusing and honest. I kept reading and going..yea that's how I am!
It does get a bit ither worldly in parts but just stick with it and enjoy the story as much as the content.
I found it very personal and really enjoyed Mo reading it.
Inspiring and have recommended to many people since reading it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Eric Worrall
  • 13-05-17

Little bit disappointed..

This book has some interesting concepts in it. I enjoyed listening to the author and I respect that he has found an equation that works for him. However for me there were too many places in this book that contradict. I would forgive these contradictions if the book didn't start from a science and maths approach and then try to prove god and afterlife by an initial distortion of a scientific theory and then layering on maths to develop the distortion. For instance the book’s “many random events that created the universe” against “an intelligent designer”. I'd don't think anyone would view evolution or the universe as random, there are forces/rules/laws guiding it...just not an “intelligently” aware being... I understand why he has built this mental model to help him be happy and some of what he wrote will help me be happier. I am grateful having listened to the book and thank him for writing it. However, the solution he came to for dealing with afterlife won’t work for me and I’ll keep on searching.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-19

Great book

Really enjoyed this book and so will you! Easy to easy understand and follow along.

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  • Michael Doherty
  • 06-04-17

One Of The Best - No, Actually THE Best

Where does Solve for Happy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This will become a classic. It's easy to listen to, intelligent, fresh, and most of all very personal and touching. I will listen to this over and over, as there is so much in it.

What did you like best about this story?

The intelligence, the new perspectives and the enlightenment flowing from it. I've read literally hundreds of this type of book. From now on, this is the only one I'll recommend to others.

Which character – as performed by Mo Gawdat – was your favourite?

na

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Lots of moving moments, but the mathematical analysis of randomness in evolution was (for me) something that changed everything for me.

Any additional comments?

Thanks, Mo, for putting this into words. It was an honour to hear it in your own voice.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Youssef Kholeif
  • 15-07-18

Solve for Happy review

Reading this book was an absolute joy. It is a practical guide and meta analysis of happiness literature to date. First time I read it it gave me hope, the second time put life long bad habits to rest

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-20

Breaks down concepts very well using logic

As an engineer, I loved the way Mo broke down common happiness concepts using logic.

I found this approach very easy to understand, and consequently therefore very easy to apply to my own life.

I didnt always agree with the conclusions reached, however because he explained his logic I was able to use it as a model to form my own understanding.

I highly recommend this book as im sure it will cause a major positive paradigm shift for you; just as it has for me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-18

Helped me so much

I went through my own family tragedy this year that left me struggling to see living in positive lenses and lead me to one of the deepest depressions I’ve been in. It’s been a process of lots of things but this book helped a lot, there is such a humility from mo that helped me stay receptive for what he was saying and it helped me look forward and become once again the positive person I like to be.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charlotte
  • 19-04-21

Wonderful account of a much loved son!

Insightful and very helpful! Thank you for this book. I will pray for your son, that he may get to his higher place.

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  • Leo
  • 05-11-20

Life changing.

What an absolute inspiration you are Mo!
What an amazing book.
As an engineer and medical doctor, I found the sometimes mathematical and scientific explanations very well done and compelling.
For those listeners who aren’t particularly technical minded I encourage you to persist through those occasional bits as Mo always ends with a well reasoned take home message.
With love to you, your family and the universe.

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  • Vini Ferrari
  • 18-04-20

A triumph!

Mo Gawdat has produced a book full of emotion, intertwined with some beautiful concepts.

I have just finished my first read and about to start again. This time with a bigger notebook.

Thank you 🙏 Mo for sharing your sadness, wisdom and the greatest happiness as well.

My epiphany began in the later chapters, in particular the discussions surrounding death.

Whilst this sounds difficult to deal with, it was what I the student needed to read.

Bravo Mo. Take care of your family and thankyou for a timeless book that my children will read shortly.

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  • Kathryn De Jesus
  • 23-03-20

Highly Recommend...

A wonderful perspective on happiness & how to achieve it. Especially good for those living in their logic or masculine mind. Will bring you to tears & offer new philosophy you may not have considered.

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  • Saraya Seymour
  • 14-08-19

pure beauty

loved it. Mo's voice is so calming and relaxing to listen to. this book is a beautiful guide to finding peace and happiness and making sense of a difficult time

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-07-19

Review

Wow, what a remarkable story and what a remarkable man. Thank-you for sharing such a personal, devastating experience in a way that can only make you feel love. It has changed the way I think, feel and will live my life... thank-you and please keep sharing your thoughts.
I will listen to this book again and again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-18

amazing, im going to read again. life changing

loved it. going to read again as it was so good. i have learnt tips that will help me for the rest of my life.

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  • Michelle
  • 30-04-18

The answer is 42

The answers to Life, the Universe and Everything from an Engineers perspective. There is a god... and he's a physicist. If you have ever loved and lost. If you have ever sought order in your life. If you are lost and alone (as we all are). Read this. There is wisdom and stories and math herein.