S3E3: Ashish Kothari - The Science of Happiness, Inside and Outside of the Workplace

Season 3 | Episode 3
27m | Apr 12, 2023

Everything on paper was perfect for Ashish. A successful job with McKinsey, a beautiful wife and baby, a happy and peaceful life in Boulder. But everyday, he would wake up with intense anxiety, nausea, and an overwhelming sense of doom. Where was this coming from, and what could it be pointing to? 

This is when the real journey began, and Happiness Squad was created. With a goal to help enhance joy, health, love, and meaning in your life, Happiness Squad works with organizations as well as individuals to help people reach their highest potential.

Ashish Kothari is the Founder of Happiness Squad, author of Hardwired for Happiness, and a friend of the Leeds School of Business. 

He joins our host Amanda Kramer to debunk myths surrounding happiness & success, help us find happiness in our work, job crafting, and how we can integrate more happiness, gratitude and good habits into our own lives. 

Leeds Business Insights Podcast is a production of Leeds School of Business and is produced by University FM.


Burnout, stress, and anxiety affect people everywhere

[00:04:59] I thought stress, anxiety, and burnout are prices insecure overachievers pay to climb the ladder and accumulate wealth. When I did this research to build this offering, I realized how wrong I was. I realize how big this issue of stress, anxiety, and burnout was in our world.

Happiness is something that ensues

[00:07:16] You can't actually pursue happiness. Those who have happiness as a goal are inherently unhappier because they're so focused on, Am I happy? Am I happy now? Why am I not happy now? And Tal talks a bit about this notion of happiness being something that ensues. You can't see the light, but you can break the light into its different components, and you can see the different colors.

How companies help reduce stress and anxiety and increase performance

[00:09:18] We can be less stressed if organizations join forces to fundamentally shape cultures of flourishing. It can make a big difference, both in an individual's life but even bigger in the performance of organizations.


Daniel Goldman, Psychologist

Happiness Squad

Sonja Lyubomirsky 

Martin Seligman

Ed Deiner

Tal Ben Shahar

What Job Crafting Looks Like, by Jane E. Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski

BJ Fogg

Dr. Kristin Neff

Hardwired for Happiness by Ashish Kothari

Happiness Squad Podcast

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