Can happiness be solved like a math equation?

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been listening to Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat for the last couple of weeks. Let me start by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much by listening to an audiobook before.


Solve for Happy came about from Mo’s own search to be happy when he found that all the things he’d accomplished and acquired so far during his life left him unfulfilled. He began to pursue his personal quest for happiness analytically like the engineer he is. Not as a psychiatrist, or a self-help guru spouting things that he has yet to experience, but as a scientist seeking his own answer. What he found led him to share his findings with his friends, who reported back with similar results. He started to feel that he was finding the answer and began to fine tune it.

A few days, less than a month before he started writing the book, his son told him to never stop working, that his mission wasn’t finished. Seventeen days before he started writing, his son went in for emergency surgery, a routine appendectomy, and did not survive.

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A weird thought

Came to me one night awhile back. Maybe I was really tired. For whatever reason, it struck me so much I just had to write it down and share it. Here we go:

Zero is a concept that use to not exist. After all, if there wasn’t anything of something, why bother to count it? Then someone came along and said, “Well, because we have to know when we are out.” — okay, not really how it went historically, but I can see how the logic of zero’s existence came to be. Zero was like the vacuum to show empty space — a void, a hole for the missing. Now, do you realize that there are actually people out there in the world today that believe the same thing about artists?

Yes! I kid you not. There are actually people out there who believe that artists shouldn’t create. Why create it? Why tell the story? Why mold the sculpture? Why paint the picture? Especially if it’s an art they don’t understand.

Now, this could easily be spread to the technology world. Why build a microwave? A computer? An iPad? A car? A lightbulb? The very same person asking why artists bother to create might say that it’s because technology makes life easier for humans. What could art possibly contribute?

What is your answer?

I know mine. I create to entertain and engage thought. I want to create an interaction between me and view, to maybe give them a different view of the world, one I want to see as a peaceful place. I like it when someone walks in my booth, points at a painting, and says, “I want to be right there.” I’ve engaged. I’ve taken them on a journey. For a moment, even a brief one, I have taken them into my world (or what I would like the world to be like).

What is your answer? This is it. Time to prove your worth. For if you aren’t creating, then there is a vacuum of zero you are leaving behind.