Book Review: The Happiness Equation, by Nick Powdthavee

According to Rabbi Hyman Schachtel, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have”. This may or may not be true in our hyper speed world that lurches from one ‘next best thing’ to the one that follows increasingly closer behind. There is a general thought that if you can collect all of those things that you think will make you happy, then you will be happy. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.In Nick Powdthavee’s book, “The Happiness Equation”, the author tries to take a rational look at the things and the constraints we are all under to see if there isn’t a genuine way that we can all be happy. His training as a behavioural economist allows him to see the patterns in life that can affect happiness, right down to a way of ascribing a monetary value to happiness, so that the effects of various things – how much is it worth to have good neighbours, or what is the value of a good marriage? It is by analysing these and many other previously overlooked benefits, that a measure of happiness can be determined.

All of this happens in a book that is immensely readable, and allows the reader to identify with what is being described. The Happiness Equation has been written in a time where the next challenge will be how to assimilate the vast amounts of data that will be released to us. This will give behaviour scientists ever increasing validation of their theories, maybe in time for the paperback release.

One thing that I learned reading this book was the Abraham Lincoln was the tallest US President. If you want to know how that dovetails into this story you‘re going to have to read it.


Book ReviewThe Happiness Equation, by Nick Powdthavee

ISBN – 978-1-84831-166-6

Date of Review – 18th July 2010

Reviewed By – Will Roney

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