Steve Wozniak, Cofounder of Apple, on How to Be Happy

June 14, 2017

9:20 am

There’s no denying that Apple has changed the world. Not only have their computers been a bedrock of comprehensive simplicity and sleek design in tech for decades, but the iPhone has fundamentally change the way society functions forever. And while success is probably pretty nice, every Disney movie and after school special has emphasized the popular notion that being successful and having a lot of money doesn’t guarantee happiness.

So how does Steve Wozniak, the cofounder of Apple, keep the blues at bay? He does it with a simple equation:

“‘Smiles minus frowns’ was my original formula when I was about 20 years old,” Wozniak told CNBC’s Squawk Box this Monday.

If it seems overly simple, especially for Steve Wozniak, it’s because it is. The “smiles” refer to things that make you happy and bring you joy: going to the beach, sitting on your porch, or playing with your iPhone on the couch. Or, as Woz can attest, playing practical jokes.

“Create jokes, create humor everywhere you go,” he says. “Pranks are created jokes, for example.”

While that alone could be enough to turn around millions of unhappy lives around the world, the latter half of the equation is just as important. To “avoid frowns,” you need to prevent yourself from being bogged down by things that don’t pan out for you. Because failure is part of life, and how you react to it is how you control your happiness.

“Don’t be bothered when things don’t go your way,” Wozniak explains. “Just think out how to be constructive.”

As Woz puts it, being happy is all about maintaining your mental health. And getting angry or depressed about external factors outside of your control is not only going to prevent you from being happy, it will actively ruin your life.

“Don’t waste your time blaming people and being all upset, because those feelings destroy your psychology.”

Read more about how to be happy on Tech.Co

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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