Author Raj Raghunathan talks about what it takes for smart people to be happy

In my on-going Technotopia series I’ve been talking to designers, coders, and journalists. This time I talk to business professor Raj Raghunathan author of If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy, a book about finding happiness when you’re already firing on all cylinders in a hard-charging career. Raghunathan’s book shows us that there is little correlation between wealth and happiness and that generosity, not greed, is the true key to success.

“You can’t really be happy if you’re operating from a scarcity mindset,” said Raghunathan. “You basically hold the belief that your win will come at someone else’s loss. You’re going to approach the goals in your life that’s going to undermine your happiness.”

Raghunathan posits that we all have three primary goals three goals – mastery, belonging, and autonomy – and that the traditional roles in business – acquisition, competition, and, for lack of a better word, greed – damage those goals in very real ways. Instead of mastery you fight to prevent others from mastering, instead of belonging you fight others from joining, and instead of autonomy you find yourself chained to outdate notions.

“If you’re intelligent about it you end up being more successful if you’re a giver,” said Raghunathan.

Take a listen below and subscribe if you care to hear more. It’s been really fun talking to these folks and I think you’ll enjoy it.