New Episode Each Monday
Feb. 13, 2023

Hard Parts to Happiness with Anthony Poponi

Hard Parts to Happiness with Anthony Poponi

Roughly 50% of our happiness is genetic, 10% is due to external circumstances, and 40% of our happiness is within our control. We tend to focus on the 10%, our external circumstances. But a better way is to focus on the 40% within our control, which is activated by choice between stimulus and response.

Join happiness expert Anthony Poponi as he and Matt O’Neill discuss the hard parts to happiness and a happiness technique that is as easy as counting to five.

Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:

  • Where our happiness comes from
  • Hedonic adaptation and the constant chase for more
  • The easy and hard parts of happiness
  • Shifting the focus from self to other people
  • Hope has two parts – belief and action
  • The intersection of talent and effort
  • Stress can be a good thing
  • The 1-2-3-4-5 gratitude technique

[02:20] Where to Focus Our Attention

We're looking for this magic pill of things that would make us happy all the time but we’re focusing on the wrong things. Our happiness comes from 50% genetics, 10% from life circumstances that we can’t control, and 40% through intentional action. We get lost in this "I'll be happy when..." scenario, focusing our attention on things that can be way off in the future.

[06:02] Hedonic Adaptation

Our brains are habituated to the things that are happening around us. It's called hedonic adaptation or being put on a hedonic treadmill. So those good things that often fit in that 10% piece of the pie are things that we adapt to more quickly. People are happier when they have kids or happier when they graduate from college. When we get these things, our brain habituates to those things. So it's always this chase for more happiness versus focusing on what's already around.

[38:01] The 12345 Gratitude Technique

Set your alarm at 12:34 to give you a little reminder to name five things you’re grateful for. These can be small things to very big things in front of you, whatever gives you gratitude for the present moment.

Notable quotes:

[03:00] We're looking for a magic pill that would make us happy all the time. [03:06]

[12:14] In between the highs and the lows, can you come back to feeling about your life with a sense of pride, purpose, and planning? [12:21]

[33:03] The best thing you can do for yourself is live in a community with life-enhancing relationships. [33:10]

Resources Mentioned:

Focus on the 40



Dan Buettner, Blue Zones

Download the Good Mood Toolkit here!

THE GOOD MOOD SHOW Podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, Anchor, and more… About the Guest

Anthony Poponi is the CEO and founder of Focus on the 40, where he teaches people how to be in a good mood. In 2022, he gave over 50 keynote presentations on how to feel your best. He coaches and gives conferences and workshops, bringing out the best of company cultures.