What would an engineer’s system for happiness look like?


“Perhaps you’re thinking: “What can two pointy-headed math geeks possibly teach me about happiness?” As any good, curious engineers would do, the two of us set out to define, measure, and discover the properties of happiness in a systematic and analytical way. Our curiosity has led us to some fascinating findings, the most important of which is our belief that happiness can, in fact, be engineered.”

Via Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life:

We have identified thirteen pillars of happiness that, with practice, will help you build a happier life. These thirteen pillars are: meals, sleep, work, relationships, recreation, crescendo, social comparison, glass half full, small sips, cumulation, forgiveness, life balance, and learning to love.



1. MEALS: be peaceful, show gratitude, avoid overeating and overdrinking, eat with friends

2. SLEEP: sleep in a comfortable bed, let in fresh air, cultivate a quiet mind, recover from sleep deprivation

3. WORK: make your commute more pleasant, improve your relationships with coworkers, become more engaged with your work

4. RELATIONSHIPS: nurture your relationships with your family and friends, avoid toxic interactions

5. RECREATION: engage in regular exercise, learn some fun skills such as music or painting

6. CRESCENDO: be frugal, postpone expenses, save the best for last

7. SOCIAL COMPARISON: avoid envy, be modest, celebrate others’ successes, praise and give credit

8. GLASS HALF FULL: reframe, accept imperfections, emphasize positives

9. SMALL SIPS: space out your consumption, build craving, cultivate varied interests

10. CUMULATION: create meaning, set goals, fill the bucket

11. FORGIVENESS: avoid resentment, conciliate, seek pardon

12. BALANCE: find balance in your life among career, family,hobbies, and self-improvement

13. LEARNING TO LOVE: practice compassion, cultivate spirituality, help others

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