Neil Pasricha

  • Stephen: Coming to you live from Chatterbox Studios in downtown Memphis, it's Stephen Kirkpatrick with executive speakers on speakers. I've got New York Times bestselling author Neil Pasricha with us. We're talking about happiness today. That's it. Happiness. Simple. How to be happy. It's springtime so come hang out with us for a little bit, you may learn something.

    Hey everyone. Thanks so much for listening. I'm so excited about having Neil Pasricha with us today. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author of 'The Happiness Equation' and 'The Book of Awesome' series. It's been published in 10 countries, it's spent over five years on best seller lists and sold over a million copies. Pasricha's a Harvard MBA and one of the most popular TED speakers of all time and founder of the Institute of Global Happiness. Neil, how are you man?

    Neil: Stephen, I am doing great. Thanks for having me on the show.

    Stephen: We are so excited to be talking to you. Really quick, how are things in Canada?

    Neil: Things in Canada are fantastic. We are in a different world than you guys are as is exacerbated by the recent election. So we are enjoying life up here and still traveling to the US when we can get in properly and welcoming our US neighbors who are just swarming our country and our city with tourism and it's just beautiful. We have a lot of American's up here these days, I'll be honest with you.

    Stephen: You know what? That's a good thing. I've been in Toronto before. It's a pretty city. We recommend everyone goes there. So, that's good. That's good. Hey man. Want to go ahead and kind of jump into it. Let's talk about your story and your beginnings and how you started your website and your blog. I know you kind of went through some difficult circumstances so, just kind of take us through that and like I said, just go from there.

    Neil: Absolutely. Sure. Well, listen. We all go through ups and downs in life. You, me, everybody. As I was in my late 20's I went through my biggest series of downs I'd ever battled. I was in a marriage that was heading in the wrong direction and I had a close friend that was battling severe mental illness. So to find some positive energy in my life at the time, I started with a blog.

    I literally went to Google and typed in 'how to start a blog' and pressed 'I'm feeling lucky' and 10 minutes later I started up a little website called, As I started posting an awesome thing a day every day, I found that I was cheering myself up despite the fact that my marriage sadly did end and my best friend very suddenly and very sadly ended up taking his own life.

    As I was going through all that, the blog became a form of therapy. I was writing about waiters and waitresses who bring free refills without asking. I was writing about being called up to the dinner buffet first at a wedding, getting the meatballs before they congeal into a meat pyramid. You know what I'm talking about?

    Finding five dollars in your coat pocket. Waking up and realizing it's Saturday. The smell of bakery air. Playing an old [inaudible 00:02:59] dangerous playground equipment. And these tiny little awesome things became a daily essay that I posted and eventually reached nobody, when you start the thing. My mom read it and she forward it to my dad and that was it. Traffic doubled from my parents.

    Stephen: So you got your parents?

    Neil: So then it started reaching ... Yeah. And thank goodness for my parents. And then it started reaching like, a dozen people and then a hundred people and then a thousand people and then a million people. The thing started getting 50 million hits from around the world and then I'm getting this phone call and the voice says, "Hey, you just won the Best Blog in the World Award", which like your listeners are probably saying to themselves, "That's totally fake." Who's even heard of a Best Blog Award? But sure enough it was real.

    I got flown to New York City. I walked a red carpet between Martha Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers. I go on stage. I accept a Webby Award for Best Blog in the World and when I get home to Toronto, ten publishers are lined up in my inbox eager to turn '1000awesomethings' into 'The Book of Awesome'.

    This book comes out, literally in months, it comes out so fast, because I'd written I'd written it all already on my blog. From the publisher it was like a file, print, staple job. And 'The Book of Awesome' comes out and it just slams onto the New York Times Best Seller list. It started selling again, like 10's and 100's and 1000's and millions of copies.

    I get invited to do a TED talk called The Three A's of Awesome and that experience helped me navigate the lowest of the lows but I wouldn't say it was a cure-all. It's not like you can just cover up the pain you're experiencing by having some external success. But having said that, it prevented me from hitting rock bottom.

    That's the story of the origin of and 'The Book of Awesome'. Meanwhile, by the way, the whole time I'm doing all this, I'm working for the CEO of Walmart. That's my full-time job. I worked there for ten years running Leadership Development and working for CEO of Walmart Canada then Walmart International. I'm running all day and running all night and I'm burning my self while doing all this stuff.

    Stephen: That's pretty crazy. That's an interesting story but it's amazing you were able to turn all that into something that has helped so many people. Let me ask you this, Neil. Why a blog? In the age of social media and YouTube and self videos, why not start a YouTube channel? Why not open a Twitter account? Why did you choose a blog as the best way to communicate your story and serve as that form of therapy?

    Neil: The things you don't know about me Stephen, is I'm an extremely nerdy person and grew up with thick coke bottle glasses.

    Stephen: No way. Neil. There is no way.

    Neil: Very few friends in my elementary school, and reading and writing became salve for me. So I ended up becoming editor of my highs school newspaper and my university newspaper. And when I hit pain points in my life I go to writing. That's my instinct. You ask about YouTube, it's like, I'm not Lilly Singh. I'm not just going to grab a video camera and start talking about myself in the bathroom. God bless her but I can't do that. I don't have that instinct.

    I'm not a vlogger, sharing every [inaudible 00:06:10] in my life. I was literally incognito. I didn't put my name on the blog. There's no picture of me in The Book of Awesome. It was very little about myself and very much about having a global conversation about positivity.

    By the way, my first idea was get into the news and see what's all going on [inaudible 00:06:29] and that's all negative. Everything we all see every day from morning till night, it is bad news. And so the idea behind the 1000 gives people a place where we could have a conversation about good news, that isn't cheesy and smarmy it's actually ideally ... It's literary and thoughtful, but it gets the conversation happening to remind us all how lucky we are.

    Stephen: Let me kind of take a detour here. And I think you bring up something that is incredibly relevant just to our society today, and that's about news coverage. You say, obviously we open up the newspaper, we go online, watch TV, so much of it is negative. And people say, "Well, why is it so negative?" And they say, "Well, that's what sells."

    And you're sitting here talking about writing a book called, 'The Happiness Equation' that's selling millions of copies and obviously that's not the case. How would you navigate that? How would you answer someone that said, "No, you've got to be negative. All people want to hear about is the negative."

    Neil: It's so interesting because it's based in our root physiological ... Our cells. We evolve these brains that are so naturally programmed towards bad news because for thousands and thousands of years you had to see the saber toothed tiger before it leaps on you. You had to protect your family from a lot of predators. And we have all kinds of biological research that shows that our brains are remarkable when it comes to finding problems.

    Essentially you have something in your brain called the amygdala, which shoots out adrenaline hormones and you go into fight or flight response. It was designed to protect you from giant cats on the African plains. It's now used when you're late for a meeting or stuck at a red light or you drop a glass on the floor of your kitchen.

    We have an over developed sense of problem [inaudible 00:08:17] in our mind. Having said that, if you go to Google and you type in 'how to be', the first drop down word is 'happy'. We want to be happy more than we want to be rich, pretty or a real estate agent, which by the way are number two, three and four on that list.

    Stephen: Real estate agent?

    Neil: Real estate agent. Everyone's trying to get in the market right now. So we want happiness. We're having trouble finding it. Then if you go to Professor David Myers at the University of Michigan who's conducted the largest longitudinal study in happiness ever from 1955 to today, he can show you that our wealth has skyrocketed, our safety has skyrocketed, our technology has skyrocketed and yet we are no happier.

    So I just painted you a portrait. I said, we got this root negative thing in our minds, you know 'if it bleeds it leads'. We want to see the car accident on the front of the newspaper sadly. That's why they put it there, because we buy that newspaper. Yet, we are looking for happiness. It's the number one Google search term. Our most pre-eminent social scientists and researchers are saying we're no happier now than we were in the 50's despite advances in every other part of our lives, including wealth and safety and technology and mobility.

    And the third thing I want to share with you is that there's incredible ground-breaking positive psychology research done more recently by Professor Sonya Lyubomirsky out of Stanford and the University of California proposing a model that shows half of our happiness is genetic but most of the remaining half is based on our intentional activity.

    Yes, there's some circumstances in there but 40 percent of our happiness, Stephen, is based on what we do. Our actions. So if I can summarize, we want it more than anything else. Okay, the Google 'how to be'. We want it more than we want to be rich, pretty or a real estate agent. We have not found it yet. That's the University of Michigan work showing that we're no happier now than we were in the 50's despite advances in every other metric.

    And yet we know how to get it. It's these intentional activities. It's the things we can do in 20 minutes a day to actually convert our brain into positive. We can actually flip our minds into positive. So the biggest question for me is, and the stuff I talk about on stage is how do we trigger ourselves to developing these happiness habits?

    How can we insert a few minutes into our day? I inserted a few minutes into my day on 1000awesomethings. It was a journaling practice. It was a gratitude practice. Right? These are things that we know create happiness but for the average person, including me, how do you insert two minutes meditation? How do you insert a journaling practice or a physical activity like a nature walk?

    Because we know that nature walks are a huge indicator of happiness. And so a lot of what I talk about on stage is something I call the '20 for 20 Challenge', which is challenging audiences and your listeners right now, to sort of pick an activity that they can do for 20 minutes a day for 20 days in a row to develop a new happiness habit.

    Stephen: That's sounds like a very cool challenge. I'm writing it down right now because I'm going to take that. Because who don't want to be more happy? Like Neil said, everyone does, because it's what's on Google.

    Neil: Everyone wants to be happy.

    Stephen: Everyone wants to be happy.

    Neil: Do you want me to give you the exercises?

    Stephen: Yeah. Let's do it.

    Neil: Okay. So basically there's five that I'm going to tell you right now. Remember, any of these five take 20 minutes. Your goal, Stephen, is to pick one of these things. Okay?

    Stephen: All right.

    Neil: You don't have to do all five. It's a multiple choice question. You just pick one. The first one is three 20 minute nature walks a week. This is from Michael [Babiek 00:11:42] and team down at Penn State and published in the American Psychosomatic Society. It outperforms people on antidepressants and people doing both the walking and taking the antidepressants. Literally just walking your dog through the woods or through the park outperforms people on medications and doing the walking.

    Stephen: Wow.

    Neil: So three 20 minute nature walks. That's the first one. The second one's called the 20 Minute Replay. This one is about journaling. Journaling. Famous study from the University of Texas called, "How do I love thee? Let me count the words." And they showed that people with journaling for 20 minutes a day, literally at the end of the day you say, "I had a great podcast with Neil today. It was a lot of fun. [inaudible 00:12:23]."

    Stephen: That's on there. That's already on there. No doubt. Already on there.

    Neil: Exactly. Right. [inaudible 00:12:27] in my journal entry today. And so you write about it, which means your brain relives it. Which means, when you read your journal you relive it a third time. That's why it's called The Replay. You don't have a GPS signal in your mind so that when you're writing about it and reading about it, you're experiencing it again.

    The third thing is Conscious Acts of Kindness. This is Sonya Lyubomirsky again. If you perform five conscious acts of kindness a week, you will be happier. This one outperforms any of the other four I'm giving you, so this is a big one. I mean, like buying flowers for yourself. I mean, making lunch for your kid. Little small things that you can do to make yourself happier as well as them.

    Number four is meditation because Massachusetts General Hospital has shown that closing your eyes and doing a few minutes of deep breathing actually increases the activity in the pre-frontal cortex of your brain. That's the part of your brain responsible for focus and attention.

    You go from throwing grenades in the trenches of your life Stephen, to being the general of the army. That's what meditation can do for you so, I recommend either Headspace, or 10% Happier. Those are three apps your listeners can check out, all of which are free to download.

    The fifth and final one is five gratitudes. Writing down at the end of the week five things that I'm grateful for. This is a famous study from Emmons & McCullough, that compared it to people writing down hassles [inaudible 00:13:51] events. And if you can write down five things that you're grateful for you will be happier after a ten week period.

    My wife and play this game every night called Rose, Rose, Thorn, But. She says a rose from her day, which is gratitude. I say one back. She says another rose. I say one back. She says a thorn, which is something that didn't go well and then she says a "but". Rose, rose, thorn, but. A 'but' is something that she's looking forward to. That little exercise that I'll leave you guys with, is a simple way to get four gratitudes in at the end of the day.

    So altogether those are the five exercises and again what I tell you is, you don't have to pick all five. Just pick one of them. Just pick one. And if you can do one of those activities for 20 minutes a day for 20 days in a row, you've done it. You've already developed a happiness habit.

    Stephen: That is absolute happiness gold you just gave our listeners. That is some awesome stuff, Neil. Really cool. I think it's really awesome too, that those things don't require you buying anything. It doesn't require you taking any kind of class. It's literally just making a little space in your day and being intentional about where you're focusing stuff. I mean-

    Neil: Exactly.

    Stephen: ... those are awesome things. So Neil, one of the things that you said was that people want to be happier more than they want to be rich. People search more on Google for how to be happy rather than how to be rich. But, secret number five in your book is, 'How to Make More Money Than a Harvard MBA'.

    Obviously, money is something that we all have to deal with. Old adage is, 'Money can't buy you happiness.' There is a country song out there that says, "Money can't make you happy, but it can buy you a boat." I don't know if you've heard that one.

    Neil: That's a [inaudible 00:15:27].

    Stephen: Yeah. So, anyways. Let's talk about this. Let's unpack how we deal with money.

    Neil: Okay. Absolutely. Well, listen. Two things I want to point out. Number one, university and college graduates want happiness over wealth now, today, as we're talking. But this is new. It has always been wealth first. We've always wanted wealth, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. It's just new. So any of your listeners that have college age kids, you know your kids are saying to you, "I just want a job that makes me happy. I want to find a company with great values." That's new.

    Ten years ago at Harvard everyone wanted to be an investment banker. You know what I mean? So this is new. And then the other thing I'm going to say about that chapter title, 'How to Make More Money Than a Harvard MBA', is it's what's known in the book writing industry as chapter click-bait. You know what I mean?

    That chapter gets so many click and so many searches because of the title. Here's what I'm saying in the title. The average Harvard MBA exit salary is $120,000 a year. The average American salary today, is $24,000 a year, which means a fresh faced, dewy eyed 26 year old with a brand new degree, makes five times the average American.

    Stephen: Wow.

    Neil: Which is, in some ways horrifying. But, but, my point in that chapter is that every single job is paid by the hour. Okay? When I was a babysitter when I was 12 years old I got paid like, ten dollars an hour to eat cheese strings and watch the Cosby show with my neighbors next door. And as I grew older and I became a driveway shoveler I got 12 dollars an hour.

    My first job in a restaurant was 16 dollars an hour. Right? It goes up and up. But every single job is paid for by the hour. If you do an analysis of which I did for 'The Happiest Equation', on the number of hours a Harvard MBA works and the number of weeks of vacation they take, you get a figure of 28 dollars an hour.

    And I have all the math in the book but it shows that they work on average of 80 hours a week, often in investment banking or finance or consulting jobs, private equity jobs, often they're traveling. So I included that time because if you're away Monday to Thursday, you're working.

    And then if you compare it to two other jobs, one is an assistant manager in retail, which is a very common job in the US that means you help run a Target or a Walmart or a JC Penney or whatever. And number three is you are a teacher. I took those three jobs and I compared them on the total salary.

    Assistant manager's 70,000 and a teacher's salary is 45,000 and I broke it down by salary per hour, which means how many hours a day in a week and how many weeks vacation and all three of those jobs, the Harvard MBA, the assistant manager of a retail store and a teacher all make $28 an hour.

    All of them make $28 an hour so my point in that chapter because this is about happiness, is when you do the math, the way to make more money than a Harvard MBA is actually to overvalue yourself and make sure you're not working too many hours because then you'll increase your dollar per hour. And that's the only figure that actually matters.

    Stephen: You know I think it's really ... That's such a great perspective and something that a lot of times in colleges and universities career placement offices won't give you because they're just going to just push you towards that salary figure and not looking at the full package of quality of life.

    And like I said, if volunteering is really, really important for someone and you take a job where you're not working 78 hours a week, that's more time that you get to go do something that's happy. Makes you happy doing volunteer hours. Or take a nature walk.

    Neil: Exactly. You're exactly right and by the way, your right. That salary figure is such a weird number because it's saying you get paid this much money for one entire year of work but when you do the math, you're like, okay there's 168 hours in a week, how many of those hours am I working? Is it a 40 hour job? Is it a 60 hour job? Is it an 80 hour job?

    Do I get two weeks vacation or four weeks vacation or eight weeks vacation? Or in the case of teachers do we get the summer off? What is the math here and what we're failing to see is the forest in the trees. A big part of our happiness is how we split up our time. Just to carry the conversation a little bit further Stephen, I think of every 168 hour week as a three bucket week.

    You've got three bucket of 56 hours. 56 hours for sleep, which is eight hours a night. 56 hours for work, which is by the way a pretty busy job because you're working a 40 hour a week job. I'm adding 16 hours for like commuting, working from home and weekends. And then you got a fun bucket. You got a 56 hours fun bucket. For me, my fun bucket for the last year is writing books.

    This is on the side of my full-time job. It's just fun. For some people it might be going to the gym or raising my kid or whatever. The point is, if you're working too much you've got no third bucket. You're swallowed up whole with your occupation and I argue you become a little bit more one dimensional. Let's just make sure if we're working hard, we're doing it for the right reasons.

    Stephen: Yeah. That's good. I know you talk to a lot of businesses about this and I think that there's definitely got to be a perspective where people see corporate world is, it's all about bottom line. But leaders, business leaders, they need to get this more than anyone wouldn't you say so? They need to understand this happiness equation, right?

    Neil: Yeah. Absolutely. Here's the thing right now, is according to Gallop, very famous study, only one in eight people are engaged at work. Only one in eight. Seven out of eight people are not engaged in their job. Okay.

    You take that study, you combine it with an incredible study done by Professor Matt Killingsworth at Harvard. He actually had, using smart phones, people fill out real-time surveys and so he had 15,000 people around the world filling out real-time surveys about how happy they were and what they were doing over a number of months.

    He published the study in Harvard Business Review. He showed in his research the place we are the least happy is the same place we are spending the most time. This is a horrifying result. The place we are the least happy is the place that we're spending the most time. And that's work. So the work I'm doing now with the Institute for Global Happiness is all about increasing happiness [inaudible 00:21:31].

    Why is that important? Because if you can actually convert someone's mindset to positive inside a company, then according to research from Stanford you increase their productivity by 31 percent. Increase their sales by 37 percent. You increase their creativity by 300 percent. It isn't about the new SAT system, or the fancy office furniture, or putting your new office building by the river.

    None of that stuff matters if people are going to work disengaged. Everything I'm focusing on is research based tools that get people to be happier in the work place and the ultimate purpose of this work stuff I'm doing, is to increase happiness inside organizations because it's the place we are spending the most time and we are the least happy.

    Stephen: Wow. That's pretty amazing. That's amazing research and that's good stuff to site as well too. It makes sense. If people are happier, they're going to want to be there and do a better job for you. I think that's really cool.

    Neil: And you know what? We're getting swallowed up by work. Right?

    Stephen: Yeah.

    Neil: I just told you that work is the place for [inaudible 00:22:35]. I've also told you kind of 50 minutes ago, we talked about how can you do one of these happiness exercises. Taking the 20 for 20 challenge. So you pick one of the five exercises I gave you, you do it for 20 minutes a day for 20 days in a row.

    Another big one though that's really kind of stemming us right now at work is our business. We are getting an average 147 email a day. The average worker. According to Forester. And according to Dee Score, a research firm, we are touching our cell phones an average of 2500 times a day.

    Stephen: Oh wow.

    Neil: That's like a constant fondle. Right? You are touching your phone your whole day. And when you combine the fact that we're also making 300 decisions a day at work ... I mean simple decisions. Where am I going to sit at lunch? What do I want on my sandwich? What am I going to wear to the office? Which way am I going to go to work? Then we're exhausted. We're exhausted. Our business is getting in the way of our happiness.

    It's a part of what I put forward on [inaudible 00:23:35] in The Happiness Equation is a model called 'the space scribble'. Right? [inaudible 00:23:40] force people to create space in their day and it's hard to describe in a podcast but essentially it's a two by two of time versus importance and on your low time/low importance tasks you need to automate those.

    I'm wearing right now as I speak to you ... I'm about to go on stage. I'm wearing a suit, jacket, a white shirt, a brown belt, and dark blue jeans with brown shoes. Guess what? I wear this same thing every day. It doesn't matter if I'm doing media. It doesn't matter if I'm doing a speaking engagement, I wear the exact same thing. It's a decision I don't make. I automated it.

    Last time I spoke, a woman said, "I automated lunch. Lunch is stressful in my office." I'm like, someone sends an email with voting buttons and you want to go to McDonald's or Wendy's. And so she's like, "I just make double dinners with my husband the night before." So automation's a really big thing we need to start doing more often.

    The second thing is regulation. This is for the low importance decisions that take a lot of time, like all the emails that we're getting. You need to regulate them. I did a study with a productivity researcher and we found that the two best hours a day to check email are from nine to ten in the morning and from four to five p.m.

    Because first of all, you still get two full hours of emailing, which is a lot yet you create for yourself a six hour email free window from ten a.m. to four p.m. You have an oasis in the middle of your day every day. You close Outlook, you shut down Gmail, whatever and you've got no email. That's a regulated window. And so I think about regulated windows a lot.

    Another one for my wife and I is chores. We regulate all of our chores so the first Saturday of every month we call it 'Chores Blitz Saturday' and we keep an ongoing list of all the things going wrong [crosstalk 00:25:22]-

    Stephen: I love the fact that you brand it. It's got marketing and brand appeal.

    Neil: [crosstalk 00:25:25].

    Stephen: You all should make tee shirts.

    Neil: [crosstalk 00:25:27]. Trademark. Yeah, trademark. You can't call it chores but you can have an errand to run if you want but it can't be chores. And so we do 'Chores Blitz Saturday' and it's awesome because for the other 29 days of the month, I'm like, "Patio stone is wobbly. Barbecue needs a new propane tank. Light bulb is gone in the bathroom." We just make a list. And I'm like, that one 'Chores Blitz Saturday' is when we just do it all-

    Stephen: That's when you do it.

    Neil: ... and we don't have to think about it for the next 20 days. Yeah. It's awesome. So automation and regulation are two [inaudible 00:25:57]. Those things what they do is they free up your mind or free your time to debate the things that matter.

    The high time/high importance decisions. Like, where do I want to go next in my career? What company do I want to work at? Where do I want to live? Who do I want to be with? These decisions actually take time to chew on and the 2500 times a day we're checking our cell phone prevent us from debating those decisions.

    Stephen: Man. That is awesome, awesome stuff. All right. We've come to our highest rated segment of the show. Time to play, Three [inaudible 00:26:24] Questions. All right Neil. This is what we're doing today. We are going to find out which one of your parents did you love more?

    Neil: My mom. Just kidding.

    Stephen: Oh. You can't even play the game. You can't just say that.

    Neil: I'm totally joking. [crosstalk 00:26:42].

    Stephen: Okay.

    Neil: I love my parents equally but just hit me with the questions. I'm excited. I was trying to just joking with you.

    Stephen: All right. Yeah, that's good. So this is what we're going to do. Neil's mom is originally from Kenya and Neil' dad is originally from India, so I'm going to ask Neil questions about the country of Kenya and questions about the country of India and whichever one he gets more from, more correct answers is the parent he likes more. Obviously. Neil you ready to go?

    Neil: Ready to go.

    Stephen: All right. First question about Kenya. What is Kenya's largest export? Is it a) petroleum, b) horticulture products, c) beauxite or d) diamonds?

    Neil: I'm going to go c) beauxite.

    Stephen: Hmmmmm. Neil I'm sorry. That's incorrect. It is actually-

    Neil: That was a toughy.

    Stephen: Yeah it is. It was actually ... And I was surprised to learn this, it's actually b) horticulture products. And the largest ... So over 950 million export in horticulture products and the largest of that is flowers. Did not know that. Now let's go-

    Neil: Oh wow. I do not have enough Kenyan flowers in my life.

    Stephen: I guess everyone needs more.

    Neil: Need to get some orchid ordered from Nairobi.

    Stephen: Yeah. All right. Questions two. This is about India. According to a 2011 survey census, what percentage of the world's population is in India. Is it a) 9 percent, b) 11 percent, or c) 17 percent?

    Neil: I'm going to say b.

    Stephen: I am sorry Neil. That is incorrect.

    Neil: Oh no. I thought it was-

    Stephen: It's actually c) 17 percent. 1.3 billion people live in India.

    Neil: Ah, I knew it was high. I just didn't realize the global population was, I guess, smaller than my math. You know what's going to be funny Stephen, because if I get every single question wrong does that mean I like my parents equally?

    Stephen: I guess so. Yeah. So you just go ahead and do that. [crosstalk 00:28:40].

    Neil: Let's see, I'm-

    Stephen: But where in the fun would that be.

    Neil: I'm trying to get these right. Hit me with another one.

    Stephen: All right. Here we go. Question three. This is a Kenya question. Kenya has two official languages. What are they? You get no help here either.

    Neil: Yeah. No, this is not a multiple choice. I'm going to go with English and Swahili.

    Stephen: That's our bell. It's not working but that was correct.

    Neil: Yeah.

    Stephen: Good job. Very good Neil. Very, very good. Okay. Question four. India. Which region is the Taj Mahal located in? Which region of India is the Taj Mahal located in?

    Neil: Where's the a, b, c?

    Stephen: No, no, no, you get no help on this one either.

    Neil: Um. Punjab.

    Stephen: Ah. Neil, I'm sorry. It's actually located in Agra. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife. It was commissioned in 1631. So there you go. All right Neil. That's it. It looks like you love your mom more so it was pathetic in the beginning.

    Neil: [crosstalk 00:29:47]. [inaudible 00:29:49] know my parents background at all. I'm the horrible indictment of when you have your kid in another country, like me being born and raised in the Toronto area, it's the roots. We gotta get back to the roots.

    Stephen: Well-

    Neil: I'm sorry mom and dad if you're listening to this. And I'm sorry that I'm a huge embarrassment on your name.

    Stephen: Well, you know what? I'm sure the questions I asked you aren't the most important things about Kenya and India. But anyways, we had some fun. So Neil, thank you so, so much for coming on and sharing your work and your life with us, man. It has just been awesome. We have loved it. Our listeners. You've got to buy this book, 'The Happiness Equation'. Go online. Any online bookseller. It's also in any bookstore. Also to go Neil's website It's awesome to read. Or you can find out more information of him as a speaker at Neil, good luck later on this afternoon and thanks so much for joining us.

    Neil: Stephen, thank you so much for having me on the show. I really appreciate it. And have a great day.

    Stephen: Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for listening. Want to thank my guest, Neil Pasricha for joining us and giving us a lot of really cool thoughts. To learn more about Neil, go to our website You can also buy his book, 'The Happiness Equation',, or your favorite online bookseller.

    Many thanks to Chatterbox Studios, my producer Bob Arnold, to Ryan Scheeler for our interim music and Poddington Bear for our music as well, too. I hope you have a good month. We'll see you soon.




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