“Happiness is not about what the world gives you – happiness is what you think about what the world gives you.”

Mo Gawdat is a google executive, and talks about how to be happy, and importantly how it is different from having fun.  This is the distilled version from Channel 4.  The full version follows, take a moment to watch it.  It’s only a few minutes and is worth your time.

Full version:

In it the interview he talks about the famous “Is the glass half full, or half empty” thing, and takes the idea even further.

“It’s about seeing the half full side, and being grateful for it.  Seeing the half empty side and asking can I do anything about it?  If not, can I accept it?”

He also goes on to talk about the sudden death of his son, and how this affected him.

In a world which pushes us constantly to have fun, to show ourselves on social media as having fun, as being a fun person … when life sucks, as it very often does … the pressure to have “fun”  and to seem happy is overwhelming.  The pressure, is counter productive and actually makes us often very unhappy.  The world is saying be like this, and we realise we are not and feel somehow lacking.  The empty part of the glass swallows us.

Mo talks about happiness as being a state of peace.  This, and “Happiness is not about what the world gives you”, resonated with me.  I could hear an echo of Jesus’s words.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

(John 14:27)

Jesus said these words as encouragment to his diciples by way a preparation for his death.

There is a common thread here between what Mo is saying, and what Jesus is saying.  There is something counterfeit in what the world offers us, and it seems ‘hellbent’ on pulling us to the ground and suffocating us.

From Mo, we can listen how he wants to change the world, make it a little better from when the day his son passed away.  From Jesus we can ask Him for His peace.   A peace which isn’t like that of the world, a counterfeit, but a real peace.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid”.


What thoughts came to you after reading this?

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