Gopi Kallayil, author of The Internet to the Inner-net and one of Google’s best and brightest, uses stories from his high-tech work life and his personal life to explore what it means to be truly happy—and what makes us truly human.
Happiness is a multimillion-dollar industry, catering to our deep desire to live a joyful life and to a belief that, as human beings, we deserve to be happy. Gopi Kallayil believes in reversing that equation. He holds that what we truly deserve is to be human and that the key to happiness lies in being 100 percent who we are, revelling in our authentic selves, even if—maybe especially if—that means falling on our faces. Which Gopi has done. Many times. But he’s also had spectacular success.
This book explores the qualities that make us human and have helped to make Gopi successful and happy in both his personal life and his professional career. Told with Gopi’s candour and humour, his deep compassion and his love of the absurd, The Happy Human spans the period from his first job as a software programmer in South China to his current position as an executive at Google in Silicon Valley. Each chapter captures an event in Gopi’s life where he dug deep and found the means to express himself from a place of radical confidence: Singing live at Burning Man, even though he sings off-key and was terrified. Participating in a triathlon, with an open-water swim, when he had only swum in a pool. (Lifeguards pulled him into their boat to save him.) Speaking at Toastmasters International and being willing to be awful—which he admittedly was—before finally, years later, becoming one of their top speakers. He also weaves in accounts of others who have dreamed big and acted on their dreams. Gopi’s stories and practices help us find happiness by embracing not only our own selves but the entire human experience, inspiring us to expect miracles daily, to use every fall as a chance to bounce, to go for what we want on every front, to live our lives full-out.