Growth Mindset Podcast

18: The Simple Art of Happiness - Bob Asim

May 21st, 2018

Product Manager at Roche Pharmaceuticals
(Kindest person I know)

Bob Asim is a mid 30-year-old Malaysian professional who has worked at various large medical organisations bringing products to market and into hospitals and GP surgeries such as breast cancer and diabetes medications.

Bob is also one of the kindest and happiest people I have ever met and just has some amazing philosophies on life that have really stuck with me and I hope will help you as well.



Now this is kind of a difficult concept to grasp and initially practice when you’re brought up in a world where you are taught to think for yourself and

When you can start deriving happiness from making others happy your life truly changes. When you think of things from other peoples perspectives instead from your own perspective you really unlock a whole extra dimension of happiness that never even existed before and its suddenly becomes remarkably easy to enjoy each day instead of going through life selfishly trying to have more for yourself or feeling owed stuff or victimised when you don’t get as much as others instead of feeling happy that other people are doing well.

This also makes you are much nicer person to be around and then other people start doing nice things for you and your life and relationships get a whole lot better.

Bob thinks that the ability to be generous should be considered a privilege that you shouldn’t take for granted and should use at all times:

1 - The fact you can give anything is a privilege. even just a smile is a privilege that you are happy. giving anything of value is a privilege that you have something of value.

2 - Being able to give to others because they are open to receive is also a privilege. Not everyone in life is ready to receive help or advice or any form of gifts from you. So when people are open to generosity you can be grateful that you are able to improve their day.

Then to conclude with his biggest philosophy - Having what you need is enough and having more is awesome because you get to give to others.


Don’t let your expectations of what you want control your happiness. when shit things happen accept them and just move on without being dragged into unhappiness, like Bob and his new kitchen or me and my parking ticket. If you accept reality as it is straight away you can continue to be happy and have good relationships with the people around you. If you kick and scream like a child resisting acceptance of this new fate that has befallen you and blaming those around or shouting at people you are just being stupid, you have to accept this new situation you are in eventually and you are just wasting time.

If a problem arises and you let that make you unhappy and get angry or sad, instead of having one problem you create many more problems for yourself and waste your own time being unhappy about life and waste time of others being a dick and life is simply too short too waste with this so just don’t. and then life is much better.

And as a bonus when you observe the fact that you could be unhappy right now but have decided not to be, you feel even happier because you aware of how much crap you are avoiding.

I appreciate that this is super easy to say and super hard to do. Like i learnt my lesson with the parking ticket ten years ago but still didn’t become great at practicing it till more recently. Some people certainly feel like they are supposed to get angry when someone does them wrong and like it’s violating their principles letting someone get away with something. but if you can look at the big picture and see how much benefit and negative you truly get from following these negative emotions it just always works out worst for yourself. Like buddhist say. ‘Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other man to get sick'


When something makes you feel awkward and you know it's wrong yet you feel like it can’t be changed and those around you aren’t doing anything. Don’t just carry on. Have the balls to stick your neck out and risk it. Bob saved patients money and impressed his bosses by being the one willing to tell them about the issues going on with doctors stealing money from patients. He risked being not understood or losing sales of the product for his company by doctors no longer using their products. But he stood up for his belief and the patients and everything worked out.

I think we all have times when our morale beliefs are challenged and examples like this are a great reason to have faith in ourselves instead of just following the crowd.


Get any of the books free on audible

The tale of a man who is reborn several times into his same body as a teenager and provides a great perspective on the way someone can choose to live a life. I just found this a beautiful tale of the paths and decisions we take in life and how they affect us what really matter in our search for happiness.

Sean is the son of Stephen Covey who wrote 7 habits of highly effective people. this book is an interpretation of those principles in a way that a teenager can apply them to their life or a parent or grandparent can help them. Both books are excellent read for anyone wanting to do more with their lives and be happier.

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