Hardwired for Happiness

Ashish Kothari

We live in a world of abundance and prosperity. Technology has brought us closer and keeps us more connected than ever before. Medical advances protect and heal us. And yet, so many of us trudge through life feeling heavy, empty, stressed, and alone.

The answer to this paradox can be found in the evolutionary biology of our brains, which are hardwired for fear. Over millions of years, our brains have evolved to keep our bodies safe and secure, continuously scanning the environment for threats. When our brains sense threat, they release adrenaline and cortisol to prepare our bodies for fight or flight. These prediction-making capabilities of our brains are what allowed us to climb to the top of the food chain, despite not being the largest or strongest in the animal kingdom.

Unfortunately, our brains are maladapted to today’s highly volatile, uncertain times. While there are little to no physical threats of the carnivorous kind, we face psychological threats to our egos and identities—and this, multiple times a day. The fight or flight responses that work so well to ensure our survival against physical threats don’t serve us so well against these modern psychological threats. And so, in the face of accelerating change, many people find themselves chronically anxious, triggered by even the smallest stressors.

Hardwired for Happiness distills cutting-edge research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and ancient wisdom traditions into nine proven practices that can rewire your brain to seek happiness instead of fear. As you read this book, you will:

  • Learn nine secular practices that exist in every wisdom tradition and are backed by scientific evidence from the fields of psychology and neuroscience.
  • Learn hundreds of quick tips and techniques that can help you integrate Hardwired for Happiness practices in every part of your life to unlock your best self, regardless of how busy you are—or how busy you think you are.
  • Learn a range of journaling, meditation, and group coaching exercises to choose the best method that works for you to shift from Knowing – Doing – Being.
  • Learn and draw inspiration from the stories of others like you, who have applied them to transform their lives.

Begin your own Hardwired for Happiness transformation today by learning to master your inner world, and live with more joy, well-being, meaning, and love.

Press & Praise

Sundaram Nagarajan, President and CEO at Nordson Corporation

In our fast-changing, volatile, and unpredictable world, we need leaders who embody a mindset of abundance and lead with compassion and purpose. Ashish's book Hardwired for Happiness presents a highly accessible and practical set of frameworks that we can all use to become more joyful, kinder, compassionate, and purposeful.

Patrick Criteser, President and CEO at Tillamook

Into our third year of the pandemic and an ever uncertain and complex world, Hardwired for Happiness brilliantly brings us back to the fundamentals. This book beautifully weaves in the latest breakthroughs from science, philosophy, and ancient spiritual wisdom to help leaders thrive and overcome their personal and professional challenges.

Tal Ben-Shahar, Co-founder of Happiness Studies Academy

Beautifully combining storytelling and research, Ashish Kothari provides a map that can help you find the path to your best self. A powerful and accessible guide.

Ashish Kothari is the Founder of Happiness Squad, a company focused on helping individuals and organizations unleash the power of happiness to achieve their full potential. As a partner in McKinsey’s Leadership Practice, Ashish served as the Co-Dean for the Centered Leadership and Adaptability & Resilience programs. He combines over two decades of consulting experience with formal training as an Ontological Coach and has helped thousands of leaders and their organizations succeed by developing new mindsets and capabilities. His transformational approach is interdisciplinary and integrates wisdom from the worlds of science and spirituality.

A lifelong student of human thriving, Ashish has read over 450 books and studied the teachings of world-renowned experts in the fields of spirituality, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. His purpose in life is to help individuals, organizations, and communities achieve their full potential through the power of happiness.

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