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177 Scott Galloway: The Algebra of Happiness

A humorous and insightful guide to living a fulfilling life by focusing on the things that truly matter.

Scott Galloway: The Algebra of Happiness


"The Algebra of Happiness" is a collection of life lessons and advice from Scott Galloway, a business professor and entrepreneur. Drawing on his own experiences and observations, Galloway offers a humorous and insightful perspective on the things that truly matter in life, from the importance of family and relationships to the value of hard work and perseverance. He encourages readers to embrace their flaws and imperfections, and to focus on the things that bring them joy and fulfillment, rather than chasing external markers of success.


Title: The Algebra of Happiness

Author: Scott Galloway

Publishing Year: 2019

Publisher: Portfolio/Penguin

Length in hours: 3 hours and 35 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Happiness is not a destination, but a journey, and it requires ongoing effort and self-reflection.
  2. The key to happiness is not external success, but internal fulfillment and contentment.
  3. Relationships are the most important source of happiness and fulfillment in life, and should be nurtured and cherished.
  4. Failure and setbacks are an inevitable part of life, and should be embraced as opportunities for growth and learning.
  5. The pursuit of happiness requires discipline, hard work, and a willingness to take risks and try new things.
Scott Galloway: The Algebra of Happiness

5 funny quotes

  1. "The difference between a successful and unsuccessful life often comes down to asking for help."
  2. "Forgiveness is the oil of all relationships."
  3. "One of the great luxuries in life is a good night's sleep, and one of the great achievements in life is figuring out how to get it."
  4. "The greatest predictor of happiness is the quality of our relationships."
  5. "Happiness is found in the appreciation of what we have, not in the acquisition of more."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The algebra of happiness is such that if you optimize for money, you won't maximize happiness, but if you optimize for happiness, you'll maximize money."
  2. "The greatest moments of happiness occur when we're in the flow – when we're fully engaged in an activity, absorbed in the moment, and at peace with ourselves and the world."
  3. "What's important is that we find our own path to happiness, and that we're true to ourselves and our own values, rather than trying to live up to someone else's idea of success."
  4. "The secret to happiness is not in having what we want, but in wanting what we have."
  5. "We need to remind ourselves that we're all a work in progress, that we're all flawed and imperfect, and that's okay. Life is not a competition, and we're not here to prove anything to anyone. We're here to enjoy the journey, and to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and others along the way."

5 dilemmas

  1. The dilemma of success: How to define success in a way that aligns with our values and brings us true fulfillment.
  2. The dilemma of happiness: How to cultivate happiness in our lives, even in the face of adversity and setbacks.
  3. The dilemma of relationships: How to build and maintain meaningful connections with others, even in a world that can be isolating and disconnected.
  4. The dilemma of time: How to make the most of our limited time on earth, and how to balance the demands of work, family, and personal growth.
  5. The dilemma of purpose: How to find and pursue a sense of purpose in our lives, and how to make a meaningful contribution to the world around us.

5 examples

  1. The author's father, who taught him about the importance of resilience and perseverance.
  2. The author's wife, who taught him about the power of forgiveness and the importance of humor.
  3. The author's daughter, who taught him about the beauty of simplicity and the importance of being present.
  4. The author's friend, who taught him about the dangers of envy and the importance of gratitude.
  5. The author's colleague, who taught him about the power of vulnerability and the importance of empathy.

Referenced books

  1. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl 
  2. "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom" by Jonathan Haidt 
  3. "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman 
  4. "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari 
  5. "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown 

Share a quote

"Forgiveness is the oil of all relationships."

Scott Galloway: The Algebra of Happiness
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