One afternoon, I was wandering around Hong Kong.  I had an hour to kill before meeting a friend for lunch, so I was taking my time and meandering through Star Street and Pacific Place, observing the people and the non-stop hustle bustle that characterizes that amazing and wonderful city.

I wandered into a bookstore, hoping to find something interesting to read, and on the shelf, a book called “Solve for Happy” caught my eye – mostly because of the big, yellow, smiley-faced emoji that was gracing the cover.

Hmmmm.  “Solve for Happy.”  Sounded like a good read.  So I bought a copy, put it in my handbag, and forgot about it until I returned to the US and found it while unpacking.  

A few weeks later, I started reading it.  When I got to page 18, there was a section titled “Our Default State.”  In this section, Gawdat explains that our default state IS happy. He compares us to our phones that come with a default state and then get all screwed up when we add a ton of apps and software onto them, and sometimes we have to return them to the default state to get rid of the bugs and garbage that have infested them.

And I stopped and closed the book.

Because I knew that was what I was needing to understand.  My default state IS happy, and it’s only when I accept all of the garbage that other people are trying to put on me that my happiness goes awry.

I put the book away.  For like a year. I didn’t read any more of it!  Since then, I’ve read more of that great book and it hasn’t disappointed in terms of delivering insights and perspectives that are helpful in staying true to my default state and keeping the garbage out.