Rakesh Sarin is an engineer and business professor…he teaches at UCLA…so why’s he writing about “happiness?” He and his co-author, business and economics professor Manel Baucells, set out to quantify happiness and present a mathematical formula for it as well. Their book is “Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life.”

Every year, those studies come out showing the most and least happy countries in the world. Every year, Denmark is on top, followed by the other Scandinavian countries. Why? Rakeesh says it’s because they have reasonable expectations…unlike people in the U.S. who have unlimited, sky-high, or maybe pie-in-the-sky expectations.

He offers the following equation: H=R-S E

In English: Happiness Equals Reality Minus Shifting Expectations.

Seems that once we obtain one goal, we are “happy” for a while, then we go on to the next goal…somehow we have not learned to manage exceptions and how to be content with what we have.

And who says you have to be “happy” all the time? Another unrealistic idea. Try “content” most of the time with occasional splashes of happiness. That’s pretty darn good!


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