Home Motivation Growth and Wellbeing The Algebra of Happiness

Learn the key ideas of the book by Scott Galloway

The Algebra of Happiness

A practical guide to life choices

The Algebra of Happiness is a compendium of anecdotes and conclusions drawn from the author’s years of life experience. It is a mix of life lessons and scientific data, offering pearls of wisdom on success at work, on how to find the right person to share your life with, on the best way to maintain long term relationships and on how to be a good parent and an example to your children.

The Algebra of Happiness
Read in 8 min.
Listen in 10 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Anyone who feels lost and in need of a practical guide when making life choices.
  • Learning more about success and what is truly important in life.
  • Learning life lessons on love and relationships and finding the courage to face your demons.

The author of the book:

Scott Galloway is a professor at the Stern School of Business in the University of New York and he is the author of the best-seller The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. As an entrepreneur he has founded nine companies, including L2, Red Envelope and Prophet, and has his own YouTube series called “Winners & Losers”, followed by tens of millions of users. In 2012 he was named one of the “World’s 50 Best Business School Professors” by Poets and Quants (a website that reviews and ranks business schools).


Basic Equations: the formula for happiness is based on some key points of life experiences

  • Happiness is at its peak during childhood and adolescence. Between the ages of twenty and forty the problems of adulthood arise, such as stress at work and the death of loved ones, and they begin to slowly burst our happiness bubble. Happiness takes an upturn at around the age of fifty, accompanied by a new awareness that our lives are moving towards their end, so we begin to appreciate the blessings around us. Unhappiness and stress during adulthood are only a phase, we need to just accept them and carry on; happiness is out there waiting for us.
  • In the first years of our professional career, the work/life balance is simply a myth. If you want to achieve financial success, you need to accept the initial sacrifice in your personal life so that you can go on to enjoy greater balance in the future.
  • Time spent doing any sport instead of just watching it is an indicator of future success.
  • One of the most important choices that you make in life is not your career but the person that you choose to spend your life with. The three important themes to focus on when contemplating a long-lasting relationship are: passion, values and financial considerations; it is important that you and your partner share the same ideas about these issues in order for the relationship to be successful.
  • Economic growth is and will be focussed in the big cities for the next fifty years. It is important to get yourself there when you are young to capitalise on the financial opportunities these big cities have to offer.
  • There is a link between money and happiness, but the correlation lessons as the money increases. So we can say that a certain level of security is linked to money, but it is important to find out what really makes us happy so that we can dig deeper into it as early as possible.
  • Compound interest is a key element for young people and can be applied to both money and relationships. It is fruitful to spend a few minutes a day taking care of our relationships; at the beginning the payoff might not seem like much, but it grows with time.
  • Investing in experiences rather than things has a greater impact on our happiness.
  • Everyone will experience failure in their lives, but it doesn’t last long and is an integral part of the road to success. Likewise, our successes and failures are not completely dependent on us, which is why we need to take responsibility for our part whilst learning to forgive our mistakes and carry on with our lives.

The key ideas of "The Algebra of Happiness"

Basic Equations: the formula for happiness is based on some key points of life experiences
Success: a few ideas to create a kit for success and financial security
Love: a few tips for long term relationships and insights into family relationships
Insights and wisdom gained over the years on how to live a healthier life
Take-home message

Try 4books Premium for free!