Early Childhood and Education
Mohammad “Mo” Gawdat was born on 20th June 1967. Both his Father and Mother are of Egyptian background. He grew up and school in Egypt.
He had his elementary school in Egypt and study Civil Engineering in Ain Shams University.
He proceeded for his MBA degree from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.
Mo’s career span over the course of 27 years, He started with IBM in Egypt as a Systems Engineer before moving to a sales role in the government sector.
He relocated to UAE from Egypt where he joined NCR Abu Dhabi to cover the non-finance sector.
He also had a stint in the consumer goods industry and end up becoming the Regional Sales Manager of British American Tobacco in Abhu Dhabi.
He later joined Microsoft and he assumed various roles over a span of seven and a half years, he was Head of Communications Sector across Emerging Markets worldwide as at the time he was left Microsoft.
In 2007, Mo joined Google to commence its business in Emerging Markets.
He was with Google for over 6 years and was solely responsible for overseeing almost half of all Google ’s operations worldwide.
In 2013 he was transferred to Google’s innovation arm known as Google X, where he led the business strategy, planning, sales, business development, and partnerships.
The business team under Mo’s leadership has designed innovative business models analogous to the disruptive technologies X designed and initiated deep strategic partnerships and global deals that enabled X to thrive and build products fit for the real world.
Mo remained is a Serial Entrepreneur who has co-founded more than 20 businesses in different fields apart from Technology firms such as health and fitness, food and beverage and real estate.
He was a member of the Board of Directors in several technology, health and fitness and consumer goods companies as well as several government technology and innovation boards in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Mo Gawdat is the Author of Solve for Happy: Engineer your path to wealth. This is a life – changing book that contains several helpful lessons about how humans can be truly happy and contented with life.
He mentors tens of start-ups at any point in time across the globe.
In 2014, Gawdat’s happiness equation was put to the ultimate test when he lost his 21-year-old son, Ali, following complications from a routine appendectomy operation.
The loving father describes his son as “the light of my life”, and told a touching tale of how friends came to pay their last respects with tears in their eyes, which quickly transformed to joy and a celebration of a cherished friend who enriched their lives in so many ways.
The demise of his son made Gawdat put his thoughts on happiness down on paper as a tribute to the wise young man who supported his father to put the equation together.
And so Solve For Happy became, in part, Ali’s legacy, with Gawdat hoping that it will help to bring happiness to people around the world.
“When I lost Ali, of course, I had the right to crumble and cry for the rest of my life – but what difference would that have made?” says Gawdat.
“Would it have made my family happier? Would it have made me work better – would it have made Ali come back? Life was amazing with him around, and it got worse when he left. But now, it’s getting a little better again and I hope that he’s proud of me, that I’m doing this.”
Although Gawdat didn’t feel devastated anymore, he felt all the crushing devastation and pain that comes with losing a child, and he admits that the pain is still with him today.
However, he believes that, while pain is a necessary part of life, we don’t have to add to it by suffering needlessly.
About ‘Solve for Happy’
Mo Gawdat is the author of “Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy”. It was published in 2017 by Simon and Schuster Inc.
The book is dedicated to the author’s son Ali Gawdat who died in 2014 at the ripe age of 21, the book outlines methods for managing and preventing disappointments in life.
The pages have in its contents real-life situations that do not necessarily show us how to be happy, but rather to remove the hindrances that makes us feeling unhappy and dissatisfied regardless of our situation.
It covers concepts from a number of different ideologies and religions, although Buddhism, Stoicism, Taoism, Islam, philosophy, metaphysics, mindfulness are important parts.
The book also covers Mo’s adherence to monotheism and controversially advocates intelligent design over evolutionary theory, making claims that the time required for random mutations to create complex organisms being too large to be considered a likely cause.
The overall purpose of Mo’s book is to serve as a project in Ali’s memory to help bring happiness to 10 million people around the world at the time of the launch, a goal that was surpassed barely a week after the launch with current Utube of over 110,476,545 views as at September 2018.
Below are five key lessons from Mo’s book that can help us avoid the common problems of finding real happiness :
Happiness isn’t something you find – it’s something you work on.
If what we desire a lasting happiness as our end goal, just like having a six-packs chest or slim shape, it won’t just happen overnight just by hoping and dreaming about it. Instead, we need to work at being happy continuously.
Happiness doesn’t come as a gift – it’s a skill and, like all skills, it needs to be deliberately developed.
Accept that whatever we desired from life will not always go your way.
We live life according to expectations, and we feel that life should always run according to our expectations.
We will all get sick, run late for appointments and of course we all experience bad day and good day.
Unexpected problems and tough times lie ahead for all of us. When we accept that we have less control than we believe, it helps to relieve the burden of suffering.
At this moment, everything is absolutely okay.
Suffering is when we request from life what it can never offer us.
When a friend told Mo that his doctor had just told him he had six-to-eighteen months to live and added that he had lost faith in his present situation and life at that moment.
Mo replied: “I’d like you to remember that right now you’re alive, so savour every sweet second that you’re on this planet with your friends and family. This is truly all you can control.
“I know it doesn’t feel that way, but don’t forget that you’re no different from the rest of us. Anyone and everyone you know could leave this earth within the next 18 months, or the next 18 days.”
Life is mostly made up of positives.
Almost all our days are positive or, at the very least, don’t contain many difficulties at all.
The sun shines, we have enough to eat – we are able to see beauty all around us and enjoy wonderful experiences.
Our attention, however, tends to focus intently on the bad times because we don’t expect them to be a part of our lives.
Even though we had the many good times we enjoyed, we hardly pay attention to these because we take them all for granted.
You are in charge of what you choose to focus on.
Happiness is a choice. Although a good number of us misconstrued this to mean that the result of this choice comes instantly, it takes time to cultivate lasting happiness.
However, we have the choice to spend time investing in our happiness or we are also at liberty to allow life’s twist to get the better of us.
Whatever we path choose at the end of the day, we are solely responsible for the direction of our lives and how we experience life.
In February 2018, Mo Gawdat resigned from Google as Chief Business Officer for Google X and devote his time fully on making and spreading the word that will make One billion people across the world Happy.
Now, Gawdat also works to spread the message of happiness in tribute to his deceased son.
He launched One Billion Happy, a non-profit initiative, in September 2017. Its primary aim is over the next five years as the name suggests, is to make people 1 billion people happy globally.
“The initiative is strongly anchored in asking the community to champion the movement by asking people to first prioritize their happiness.
Second, invest in learning and practising what would make them happier and third, pay it forward; tell [two] people, who tell two people, who tell two people,” Gawdat explains.
“The difference between pain and suffering is paramount. Pain comes from outside you: it’s the world telling you that you need to be alert.
Suffering is when you recall the pain over and over in your head, which causes you the psychological torture that you feel from this.
“When I think about my wonderful son Ali, I don’t remember losing him, I remember having him.
I can think of the same event and think of how I was blessed to have 21-and-a-half amazing years with this young man who completely gave me love and knowledge and wisdom.
He was the light of my life and so, instead of remembering him with sadness, I can remember him with happiness.”
“Happiness is when we’re at peace with life and we wouldn’t mind if it didn’t change much. Even though most of us would like to be happier, we nevertheless struggle to cultivate happiness beyond fleeting moments of joy that arise from time to time.”
To develop happiness, says Gawdat, it has to be prioritised in the same way that we might prioritise a healthy lifestyle.
When we begin going to the gym or ditching junk food for healthier options, it can be difficult at first, but it soon becomes easier and we are able to enjoy the benefits that come with our new habits.
“You are in charge of your life: if you make something a priority, you make it happen,” he insists.
“For example, if you make being paid at the end of the month a priority, you show up to work every day to make sure you get paid. Unless you make happiness a priority, there’s nothing anyone can do to help you.”
“When you make it a priority, it might be difficult at the beginning, but then it gets a little easier. The 10th time you go to the gym, it becomes a lot easier, and by the 20th time, you start to wonder how you ever lived without going to the gym.
“I think that’s the message for everyone to take on board: If you prioritise happiness, it becomes easy and you can make it happen. If you don’t, then you’ll always have your problems.”
Mo story is about a person who believes in changing lives by reaching out through his optimistic manner.
His approach to has shown us why we should wine and grind with happiness even when we are faced with roadblocks and countless failures along the path of life.