'I Want To Die Remembering My Pranks' Because 'Happiness Equals Smiles Minus Frowns'

Steve Wozniak
co-founder of Apple Inc.

What is happiness? There is no clear definition of that, because happiness is a complex concept, and that it's subjective.

What this means, happiness is a personal experience. The the feeling can differ from one person to another, and that what makes one person happy might not make another happy.

While the feeling cannot be defined as a constant euphoria, what's certain is that, happiness is a combination of both feeling good and life satisfaction.

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, has achieved many things in life.

He's famous and financially successful, and that his contributions definitely secured him a place in history.

But his work is not the thing he wants others to remember him with.

Steve Wozniak
Steve Wozniak.

Wozniak has a simple equation for finding happiness:

"H equals S minus F."

This stands for 'Happiness equals Smiles minus Frowns,' and in his case the smiles often come from family, music and comedy, he said.

The idea is be aware of what makes you happy, and intentional about seeking it out. People often struggle to find happiness because they see it as a destination, and as a result of this, they will rarely enjoy the road going to that destination.

At the end of his life, Steve Wozniak said that he is not measuring his happiness by the size of Apple’s market cap or his personal net worth.

Instead, Wozniak considers the jokes he told, and the laughter he shared with family and friends, as something that is much more valuable.

And he wants others to do the same, he said to University of Colorado Boulder graduates during a commencement speech.

In his speech, Wozniak recounted an article he once read about ex-Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone.

"He was flying around to one city to sell a company for a billion of today’s dollars, and then flying to another one [...] I thought, ‘Wow. To have that kind of wealth and power, would you want that when you die?’” said Wozniak.

The answer was "no."

"I want to die remembering my pranks, and the fun I had, and funny jokes. I decided that that life, for me, was not about accomplishment. It was about happiness," he continued.

Steve Wozniak

He also once said that:

"I thought out my philosophies when I was about 20 years old [...] How do you do in life? [...] How do you become a good person?"

"It if I died and had all this wealth and yachts and all this stuff, would I be as happy as when I laugh? And I thought about pranks I played and jokes I had told and music I would hear that would make me smile, and I came up with my formula that life is about happiness."

It's worth noting that Wozniak’s love of comedy once got him into trouble at the very university where he spoke.

Back in 1969, he was expelled from the University of Colorado Boulder for hacking into the university’s computer systems and sending prank messages.

He later re-enrolled in De Anza College in Cupertino, California, before dropping out and eventually co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976.

It's worth noting that Wozniak had again returned to his formal studies by later enrolling to the University of California, to graduate at the age of 35, with electrical engineering and computer science degree

He used the name Rocky "Raccoon" Clark.