Clifton Molina

Books I've Read

Solve for Happy: Engineer your Path to Joy

  • — by Mo Gawdat
  • 1501157558
Currently Reading....

my reading notes




Get off the Hedonic Treadmill.




Don't expect that (work * money * things) ~= happy



Happiness is contained within




Happiness is a human's default setting, see: babies




The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short - Maslov




Attitude of gratitude




Make a happy list and review it weekly, find trends




Happiness equation


Happiness => perception of events - expectations




Pain is an important signal, suffering is a choice




Lean into discomfort to become resilient







First, there are the “6 Grand Illusions”, which are the illusions of thought, self, knowledge, time, control, and fear.


Next, we have the “7 Blind Spots” of our filters, assumptions, predictions, memories, labels, emotions, and exaggerations.


Finally, we are encouraged to reflect on the “5 ultimate truths” of now, change, love, death, and design.




State of confusion




Judgements will lack objectivity


Ex: illusion of time


State of suffering


Negative thoughts


Keeping them alive consciously


State of escape


Suspend thoughts


Fun as a painkiller with diminishing returns


Define a fun quota and meet it


State of happiness


Think positive


Better to remove the reasons for unhappiness than to try to inject more happiness


State of joy


Rise above thought clutter, 20000ft view


Utter immersion in life, blissful uninterrupted flow



Little voice in your head


Illusions as inputs means things can't add up in happiness equation


Chapter 3: little voice in your head


You are not your thoughts. Common wisdom among cultures.


I think, therefore I am - Descartes

I am, therefore my brain thinks - Gawdat


In the modern world, most threats are to the ego, not physical. Therefore a basic function of the brain, to protect the body, is left without much to do. Therefore it is imperative to master techniques for thought control and mindfulness.



Observe the dialog - sit quietly and observe often,

  • Observe thought
  • Let it go
  • Remind yourself that you are not your thoughts


Observe the drama - some thoughts will stick

Acknowledge how you feel - the emotion triggered by the thought

Try to understand it better, ask why, which thought led you here

Focusing on the connection uses the problem-solving side of brain, helps cool down emotion and end the repetitive brain chatter

Reframing the thought reframes the emotion


Bring me a better thought - hard to dislodge negative thoughts

Vacuum left behind when finally removed

Your brain can be 'primed' with happy thoughts

Loophole, backdoor: your brain can't help but think about something when prompted to

Leverage unconscious mind - view an image, listen to a sound, activate the senses with something that makes you happy


Shut the duck up

Pete cohen - life diy

Meditation is a practice which prepares you for a lifestyle: greater awareness in the larger world, away from meditation


Brain is a serial processor - one thought at a time

Learning to pull the plug on your brain - practice a dumb smile, blank stare

Remove sensory filters, ignore brain commentary, observe and let go