secretleaders | One Billion Happy: Learning To Be Happy In A Pandemic

One Billion Happy: Learning To Be Happy In A Pandemic

Learning to be happy is hard enough. Learning to be happy in the middle of a pandemic should be nigh on impossible. Not so, according to Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer of Google [X], serial entrepreneur and author of “Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy” (2017).

Mo’s famous for bringing Google to 4 billion new users, but that’s not all he’s done. Throughout his career he’s also co-founded over 25 businesses (7 still survive today). He starts businesses that fascinate him, making sure none of them have a conflict of interest with his ‘full time’ job (first at IBM, then Microsoft and latterly at Google), coming up with a new idea every year or two.

His book, “Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy” (2017) was the result of 12 years researching the topic of happiness. Mo even created an algorithm and a repeatable well engineered model to reach a state of uninterrupted happiness regardless of the circumstances of life.

“Happiness is not found outside you, you were born happy. Our default setting as humans is happy. But we grow out of happiness; we grow out of happiness because there are external influences that make us unhappy.”

A lot of what Mo learned about happiness came from his experiences with entrepreneurship; born from the understanding that entrepreneurs are not only aware that things can go wrong, but they expect them to go wrong.

Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, if you’re wondering how you can find happiness again, post-COVID, this is an enlightening episode you don’t want to miss.

We chat about:

  • Why a business partner is more important than the business
  • The impact of Solve For Happy
  • Happiness is predictive
  • Consumerism is destroying our planet
  • Comparing COVID to Tetris


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The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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