Neil Pasricha Profile

  • Director of the Institute for Global Happiness, Pasricha is the best-selling author of The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome.

  • One of the most acclaimed TED speakers, his TED Talk “The 3 A’s of Happiness” is ranked as one of the top 10 most inspiring TED Talks in the history of the institution.

  • Pasricha teaches happiness as a skill, imparting simple steps anyone can take to flip their mentality and increase positivity in their life.
  • Happiness researcher and positive psychology guru, Neil Pasricha is known for his bestselling books, The Happiness Equation and The Book of Awesome. He is Director of the Institute for Global Happiness, where he helps management teams and others learn how to drive long-term happiness, so that they can be more engaged, creative, and productive.

    Like many, Pasricha was raised to think that if he worked hard, he’d succeed and by default, find happiness. However, he began to second guess the traditional western happiness model after his first marriage fell apart and his best friend took his own life, one right after the other. One of Pasricha’s coping mechanisms was to start writing 1000 Awesome Things, a simple blog which has since gotten 60 million hits and won “Best Blog in the World” two years in a row from the Int’l Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

    In pursuing his own happiness, Pasricha found out a wealth of information and techniques that soon allowed him to effectively teach happiness as a skill. He was in charge of Leadership Development at Walmart for 10 years and has also worked with/spoken at LinkedIN, 3M, Google, Microsoft, and many other internationally known companies. His first TED Talk, “The 3 A’s of Happiness,” is ranked as one of the most inspiring TED Talks of all time, and he gives around 50 speeches per year worldwide on leadership, engagement, and mental health.

    Pasricha is happily married and lives in Canada with his wife and two children.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Leadership Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author, Positive Psychology Researcher

      Neil Pasricha helps people live happy lives.

      He is a top-rated leadership keynote speaker, New York Times bestselling author, and positive psychology researcher focused on the relationship between happiness and leadership in business.

      Neil is one of the most popular TED speakers with his first TED Talk “The 3 A’s of Awesome” (2010) ranked as one of the ten most inspiring of all time and his second “How will you maximize your tiny, short life?” (2016) the world’s first ever TED Listen, composed entirely of questions. As a leadership keynote speaker Neil has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people around the world including Fortune 100 companies, Ivy League schools, and Royal Families in the Middle East.

      Neil has written five New York Times and #1 International Bestsellers including: The Book of Awesome, a catalog of simple pleasures based on his 60-million hit, award-winning blog, Awesome is Everywhere, an interactive introduction to meditation, and The Happiness Equation, a nine step guidebook to happiness based on new research. His books have been on bestseller lists for over 200 weeks and sold millions of copies.

      Before leading The Institute for Global Happiness and keynote speaking, Neil spent a decade running Leadership Development and working directly for two CEOs at Walmart, the world’s largest company. He was responsible for CEO onboarding, executive development, and talent management across all levels of the organization.

      His work has been featured in hundreds of outlets including CNN, BBC, The Today Show, The Early Show, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Fortune, and Forbes.

      Neil has degrees from Queen’s University and Harvard Business School.

      He lives in Canada with his wife and two sons.

    Neil Pasricha Speaking Videos

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    Neil Pasricha's Speech Descriptions

    Backed by science and presented with flair, Neil Pasricha’s keynotes lay out a step-by-step guide to living a more fulfilling life. Like many, Pasricha was raised to believe that hard work and success automatically led to happiness, but real life and research made him realize that most of us are taking a backwards approach to the pursuit of happiness. Rather, Pasricha demonstrates that happiness leads to greater creativity, productivity, and achievement. More importantly, he packs every keynote with multiple little actions anyone can take to find greater happiness.

    • 45 – 90 minute keynote speech
    • Full customization to organization priorities
    • Customized takeaways
    • Optional Q&A
    • VIP Meet and Greet
    • VIP Book Signing


    Why can so few people at work genuinely say, “I love my job”? Gallup reports 87% of the global workforce is disengaged. But what if there were subtle, secret weapons that could turn employees into their most powerful, engaged, and productive selves? It’s not crazy talk. It’s actually happening.

    Using his unique blend of counterintuitive research and sidesplitting stories, Neil illuminates a clear path forward into workplaces where people show up inspired, do great work, and leave with full minds and full hearts. Raw, hilarious, and heartwarming, this is the perfect keynote to kick off or close your conference with the ultimate high.


    After Neil Pasricha’s wife left him and his best friend suddenly took his own life, he crash-landed in an empty downtown bachelor apartment. Just twelve months later, he was working directly for the CEO at Walmart, running the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science’s “Best Blog in the world”, and had just published The Book of Awesome which stormed the New York Times bestseller list and sold over a million copies. The lesson was clear: resilience, change, and growth can came from times of challenge.

    This inspiring talk is for anybody looking for simple practical ways to lift performance to new heights. In Neil’s case, he realized before life could change, he had to change. Leadership ultimately comes from within. When company execs would ask him “How did you get so happy?” he’d share the secret is to “Be happy first” and let the mindset you cultivate ultimately enable your success. Neil’s presentation leaves audiences with
    five clear tools they can use to achieve their biggest goals.


    Does great work lead to happiness? Or… does happiness lead to great work? Neil Pasricha shares counterintuitive research-based
    answers in this fun, fast-paced, research-grounded tour of the emerging neuroscience and positive psychology landscape. He challenges your audience by asking: “Would you press a button and have 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, and 300% greater creativity on Monday
    morning?” When heads start nodding, he shows how to get there.

    Based on fresh research Pasricha published in Harvard Business Review together with the latest in neuroscience and positive psychology, this speech is not true motivation – it’s application. Perfect for left-brained, analytical, or even skeptical audiences.


    Which company is #1 on the Fortune 500 today and has been for more than a decade? Walmart. The retail behemoth’s rise to half a trillion dollars in sales with over two million employees spread across the globe has been well-documented. But what hasn’t been documented is how they develop, nurture, and grow leaders up through those ranks.

    Neil Pasricha served as Director of Leadership Development inside Walmart for the past ten years – working directly for two CEOs and
    partnering with Harvard Business School to develop the first global executive program inside the retail giant. Join him as he shares a window into what his research and work reveal about what truly makes leaders tick and walk away with clear takeaways on how they can drive you and your teams. How do you lead a team of two, two hundred thousand, or even two million people? It starts with yourself. Let Neil show you how.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Neil Speak

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    “When Neil Pasricha talks, leaders of all levels and backgrounds stop what they’re doing… and listen.”

    – HOWARD BEHAR, Former President of Starbucks Coffee

    “With simple effortlessness, Neil renders complex ideas easily memorable and everyday practical.”

    – COL. CHRIS HADFIELD, Former Commander of the International Space Station and author of The Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

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    Books by Neil Pasricha:

    Two Minute Mornings: A Journal to Win Your Day Every Day

    The choices made in the morning can have a huge impact all day long. The creator of the bestselling Book of Awesome and Journal of Awesome encourages users to “win the day” in just a few minutes each morning. The simple, quick prompts—focusing on gratitude, letting go of stress, and setting daily intentions—are proven to increase happiness and set readers up for success every day.

    The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything


    What’s the formula for a happy life?

    Neil Pasricha is a Harvard MBA, a Walmart executive, a New York Times–bestselling author, and a husband and dad. After selling more than a million copies of his Book of Awesome series, he now shifts his focus from observation to application.

    In The Happiness Equation, Pasricha illustrates how to want nothing, do anything, and have everything. If that sounds like a contradiction, you simply haven’t unlocked the 9 Secrets to Happiness.

    Each secret takes a common ideal, flips it on its head, and casts it in a completely new light. Pasricha then goes a step further by providing step-by-step guidelines and hand-drawn scribbles that illustrate exactly how to apply each secret to live a happier life today.

    Controversial? Maybe. Counterintuitive? Definitely.

    The Happiness Equation will teach you such principles as:
    · Why success doesn’t lead to happiness
    · How to make more money than a Harvard MBA
    · Why multitasking is a myth
    · How eliminating options leads to more choice

    The Happiness Equation is a book that will change how you think about everything—your time, your career, your relationships, your family, and, ultimately, of course, your happiness.

    Awesome Is Everywhere
    A stunning first picture book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome.

    Are you ready? With the simple touch of your fingers go on a stunning interactive journey to see the world as you never have before. Fly through wispy clouds, dive deep into the sparkling ocean, feel wet grains of sand on a hot and sunny beach… You will discover you can fly your mind to anywhere on Earth. And by the time you reach the surprise ending in this unforgettable journey you’ll learn that awesome truly is everywhere.

    The Book of (Holiday) Awesome

    There’s nothing like the holidays. They bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in everyone. Luckily, Neil Pasricha is here to remind us that not only are the holidays great, but there’s actually even more to celebrate than we realize. From Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, to other holidays throughout the year, such as Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving, The Book of (Holiday) Awesome will show you why holidays are…AWESOME.

    · Making the first footprint in fresh snow
    · When the in-laws leave
    · Waking up and realizing it’s Christmas
    · Just barely wrapping a gift with that tiny scrap of leftover wrapping paper
    · When they finally stop playing Christmas songs on the radio
    · Knowing “Kwanzaa” is worth more Scrabble points than “Hanukkah” or “Christmas”

    The Book of Awesome
    Sometimes it’s easy to forget the things that make us smile. With a 24/7 news cycle reporting that the polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes are swirling in the seas, wars are heating up around the world, and the job market is in a deep freeze, it’s tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us, like:

    · Popping Bubble Wrap
    · Wearing underwear just out of the dryer
    · Fixing electronics by smacking them
    · Getting called up to the dinner buffet first at a wedding
    · Watching The Price Is Right when you’re home sick
    · Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row
    · Waking up and realizing it’s Saturday

    The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandma was right). With laugh-out-loud observations from award-winning comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you’ll remember all the things there are to feel good about.

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