The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway

# Summary:

I read Scott Galloway's The Algebra of Happiness last year and it kinda changed my life.

It's a book on figuring life out and it contains useful tips on how to live well. Though much of the book is what some may consider common wisdom, it really opened my eyes and led to more deliberation and reflection.

Consider it a cheat sheet by your worldly uncle who has seen the world and understands how it works. [8/10]

# Notes:

  1. The world is not yours for the taking, but for the trying. Try hard, really hard.

  2. The world does not belong to the big, but to the fast.

  3. You want to cover more ground in less time than your peers.

  4. This is partially built on talent, but mostly on strategy and endurance.

  5. the most important decision you’ll make is not where you work or who you party with, but who you choose to partner with for the rest of your life.

  6. However, the most important decision you’ll make is not where you work or who you party with, but who you choose to partner with for the rest of your life.

  7. Good sex is 10 percent of a relationship, but bad sex is 90 percent of a relationship.

  8. You also need to ensure that you align on values like religion, how many kids you want, your approaches to raising kids, your proximity to your parents, sacrifices you’re willing to make for economic success, and who handles which responsibilities. Money is an especially important value for alignment, as the number one source of marital acrimony is financial stress. Does your partner’s contribution to, approach to, and expectations about money—and how it flows in and out of the household—fit with yours?

  9. Get to a place that’s crowded with success. Big cities are Wimbledon—even if you aren’t Rafael Nadal, your game will improve by being on the court with him. And you’ll either get in better shape or learn you shouldn’t be at Wimbledon.

  10. There is a correlation between how much money you have and how happy you are. Money can buy happiness, to a point. But once you reach a certain level of economic security, the correlation flattens.

  11. I made the mistake of spending all my time, for most of my life, trying to figure out how to make more money, instead of taking a pause and asking myself what makes me happy.

  12. But take notes on the things that give you joy and satisfaction, and start investing in those things.

  13. The notion of putting money away is most important to the cohort that least understand it—young people—as “long term” is not a concept they’ve grasped.

  14. Take a ton of pictures, text your friends stupid things, check in with old friends as often as possible, express admiration to coworkers, and every day, tell as many people as you can that you love them. A couple of minutes every day—the payoff is small at first, and then it’s immense.

  15. It’s difficult to get to economic security with just your salary, as you will naturally raise or lower your lifestyle to match what you make.

  16. The definition of “rich” is having passive income greater than your burn.

  17. By the time you’re thirty, you should have a feel for what your burn is. Young people are 100 percent focused on their earnings. Adults also focus on their burn.

  18. The Harvard Medical School Grant Study shows that relationships matter more than money or fame

  19. The presence of one thing in a man’s life predicted unhappiness better than any other factor: alcohol. It led to failed marriages, careers coming off the tracks, and bad health.

  20. Studies show that people overestimate the amount of happiness things will bring them and underestimate the long-term positive effect of experiences.

  21. The key to success is the ability to mourn and then move

  22. Everyone experiences failure and tragedy. You will get fired, lose people you love, and likely have periods of economic stress. The key to success is the ability to mourn and then move on.

  23. The number one piece of advice seniors would give to their younger selves is that they wish they’d been less hard on themselves.

  24. Talent is key, but it will only gain you entrance to a crowded VIP room.

  25. The chaser that takes talent over the top into success is hunger. Hunger can come from a lot of places. I don’t think I was born with it.

  26. It didn’t take long to realize that the secret is to find something you’re good at. The rewards and recognition that stem from being great at something will make you passionate about whatever that something

  27. THE TRAITS of successful entrepreneurs haven’t changed much in the digital age: you need more builders than branders, and it’s key to have a technologist as part of, or near, the founding team.

  28. Are you comfortable with public failure?

  29. Most failures are private:

  30. doesn’t matter if you’re running the corner store or Pinterest—you’d better be damn good at selling if you plan to start

  31. Kids who can code and are two years out of school, who are mediocre, are making $100,000+ in the market. What’s worse is that they believe they’re worth it. If you can code, yay for you. But you have no real hard skills or management ability. Not recognizing that you’re overpaid means you won’t have the funds to avoid your parents’ basement when shit gets real.

  32. When times are bad, people look to gray hair for leadership. When times are good/frothy, people look for youth.

  33. people who tell you to follow your passion are already rich.

  34. Benchmarks, metrics, and milestones range from the meaningless to the profound. Accountability and insight are the by-products of math. Numbers yield insights about markets, how value is created, and how we want to live our lives. A review of the metrics in your life is a healthy exercise.

  35. Professional success is the means, not the end.

  36. important, meaningful relationships with family and friends.

  37. The end is economic security for your family and, more important, meaningful relationships with family and friends.

  38. Serendipity Is a Function of Courage

  39. nothing wonderful, I’m talking really fantastic, will happen without taking a risk and subjecting yourself to rejection. Serendipity is a function of courage.

  40. Knowing what you want is a blessing, and fear of rejection is a bigger obstacle than lack of talent or the market. Train yourself to take some sort of risk (ask for a raise, introduce yourself around at a party) every day and get comfortable grasping beyond your reach.

  41. The truth about 90-plus percent of entrepreneurs is that we start companies not because we’re so skilled, but because we don’t have the skills to be an effective employee.

  42. Being an adult is about recognizing that it’s not all about you.

  43. there’s a difference between being right and being effective. Employees must navigate the two and realize they are part of a team, and they need to be supportive of one another.

  44. Amateurs act on emotion, pros on numbers.

  45. Randy and Cy instilled in me that remarkable men can become irrationally passionate about the well-being of a child . . . who isn’t theirs.

  46. LOVE AND relationships are the ends—everything else is just the means.

  47. Love received is comforting, love reciprocated is rewarding, and love given completely is eternal.

  48. The key decision you’ll make in life is who you have kids with. Who you marry is meaningful; who you have kids with is profound.

  49. Raising kids with someone who is kind and competent and who you enjoy being with is a series of joyous moments smothered in comfort and reward. Raising kids with someone you don’t like, or who isn’t competent, is moments of joy smothered in anxiety and disappointment.

  50. Building a life with someone who loves you, and who you love, near guarantees a life of reward interrupted by moments of pure joy.

  51. You will, on a balanced scorecard, likely end up with someone in your weight class in terms of character, success, looks, and pedigree.

  52. Like someone who likes you.

  53. Studies show that marriage is advantageous economically.

  54. Don’t keep score.

  55. Don’t ever let your wife be cold or hungry.

  56. Express affection and desire as often as possible.

  57. AFFECTION EXCHANGE theory, introduced by Professor Kory Floyd, postulates that affection strengthens bonds, provides access to resources, and communicates your potential as a parent, increasing your pool of potential mates.

  58. IN A capitalist society, we mark life by our purchases.

  59. A better proxy for your life isn’t your first home, but your last.

  60. Your first house signals the meaningful—your future and possibility. Your last home signals the profound—the people who love you.

  61. but if you die at home, surrounded by people who love you, you are a success. It’s a sign that you forged meaningful relationships and that you were generous with people.

  62. Getting to a place, economically, emotionally, and spiritually, where you can love someone completely, without expecting anything in return, is the absolute.

  63. .....we are hunter-gatherers and are happiest when in motion and surrounded by others.

  64. a decent proxy for your success will be your ratio of sweating to watching others sweat (watching sports on TV).

  65. It’s not about being ripped, but committing to being strong physically and mentally.

  66. As you get older and begin to register the finite time you have, you want to freeze time and have moments when you feel something.

  67. In psychology research, gratitude is consistently correlated with greater happiness.

  68. Food, sex, and kids. We’re wired to be addicted to things fundamental to the survival of the species.