B&T’s favourite ranting professor, scott Galloway, took to the main stage of cannes lions overnight and surprised by limiting himself to no more than half a dozen barbs at the four horseman and instead gave us his insights into how to lead a happier life. here are some of our favourite takeouts of his session.
“I’m economically secure and that is important to me. It frees me up to do what I want to do which is teach. The only investment strategy you ever need is to invest in unregulated monopolies, so go to the beach.”
Scott Galloway reveals his investment secret in an ironic turnaround referencing the Four Horseman at Cannes Lions today.
This is one of several references Galloway made to the Cannes beach clubs being taken over by the tech giants. Known for his outspoken criticism of the big tech companies, he ends his seminar confessing his personal investments have been solely in those organisations.
In a departure from his traditional beating up on the Four Horseman lecture, Galloway’s most recent work has been focused on his curation of research using data gleaned from multiple sources on what makes us happier. In his most popular course at NYU, he pours a deluge of hilarious nuggets onto the audience, which he calls “the algebra of happiness”. The algebra of happiness is a series of equations that he has used to distil insights regarding failures and successes in business, relationships, parenting and health.
Galloway, in his trademark fusion of lecture and rant offers equally riotous and dark look at life well-lived or not.
The Arc of Happiness
This research across many disparate studies and shows from about the age of zero to 25, we are generally pretty happy. “This is the era of Disney, university, spilling into adulthood. Pure magic. And then from about 25 to about 50 (90 per cent of the people in this audience) this is the part of life I affectionately call the shit gets real stage. All of a sudden, you realise you are not going to get a fragrance named after you and you are likely not to become a member of parliament,” Galloway quips.
The Beauty of the Simple Things in life
“Something wonderful happens when you get to about my age, the age of 47 (actually I am 54) and you start to get happier. Remember when you went out with your mum and she would say how good is this salad and you think, what an idiot, what is she talking about! This will start happening to you, you will start to find joy in nature, in food, in the weather, and relationships will start getting more meaningful to you.”
The Tyranny of Television
“The amount of time you spend watching television, is a direct correlation to what a loser you are, something you won’t hear about here, but is evidenced with a number of studies,” Galloway adds to roars of laughter. “The more ads you see, the shittier your life.”
The Bullshit of following your Passion
“This is the worst advice that is given to people at college or university. At NYU we have speakers every week and they are one of two things: either very interesting, or billionaires.
“We have decided in society that if you have amassed over a billion dollars, that you are very wise and that you should come and speak to young people. This is the worst piece of advice that every billionaire gives to students when he or she comes to speak and that is: Follow your Passion. Follow your Passion “WHAT BULLSHIT! He exclaimed. Oprah followed her passion and became a billionaire. Assume you are not Oprah.
“Your job is to find something you are good at, and become great at it.
“Your job is not to find your passion. Your job is to find something you are good at and then invest the requisite thousands of hours required to get great at it. This means practice, perseverance and grit, overcoming the obstacles, the bullshit at work.
“Nobody grows up passionate about tax law. But the best tax lawyers in the world fly on private jets and find people better looking than them to marry which makes them passionate about tax law.”