Why the focus on this number of 40? According to research by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirksy and others the field of Positive Psychology we control about 40% of the lasting happiness we experience in life.  Life circumstances like the new job, new car or TV comprise another 10% of the happiness but only with temporary affects and focusing on the 10% is an effort in futility because of a process called hedonic adaptation. Your brain gets used to the good (and even bad) things in your life. Remember, these brains want you to keep pushing and to keep striving for resources because staying alive has historically required it.

So circumstances in life only bump your happiness for a period of time before you fall back to your happiness “set point.” The other 50% of your happiness is genetic. Whoa, that’s a lot to blame your parents for, but we’re all looking to externalize blame, so there you go. My gift to you.

Happier People

*see footnotes at bottom of page

…are more successful, productive and earn more than their peers. Success does not cause happiness, happiness causes success¹. Money only affects our happiness in a lasting way up to a point but why not make more money while being happier²?

…are engaged in life, their friendships and relationships and find happiness in their present situation and life circumstances³. If you say “I’ll be happier when _______.” You’re focused on the wrong direction towards life circumstances like marital status or money.

…accomplish their goals, are optimistic, handle stress better and are more resilient to life’s inevitable challenging times and persevere through challengesª. Not only do happier people set goals, they set bigger goals and achieve them more frequently through mindset, attitude and behavior.

So where is this 40%?  You’re looking right past it and the incredible part of this is it’s both easy and accessible – like right now accessible. Here’s the focus….

The 40 that Matters


Your brain has an old operating system. Think Windows Vista level bad. And the bad news is your warranty is out of date. The good news is you have the tools to fix the operating system. Neuroplasticity is the tool I teach!


We just talked about relationships, right? Your community is full of opportunities for positive relationships. And work is a community itself. Choose your communities wisely!


Positive and supportive relationships are considered by some Positive Psychologists as the most important variable in our happiness. Communication being core to positive relationships and more positive emotions!


Mediocrity is a gift. We all have talents, skills and passions. We also have strengths within us unique to us and using strengths is natural, effortless and energizing and crafting your life to use them more is easy!

You are the creator in the life you live. Creating and growing – both personally and professionally – process and not a destination.  Focus on the 40© programs are focused on this process and I’m thrilled to be your keyboard shortcut to a more satisfying life. – Anthony

Anthony Poponi is a Corporate Trainer, Coach, Motivational Speaker and author of “Focus on the 40” specializing in improving team dynamics, communication and productivity for teams and individuals. His work is based on the research in the fields neuroplasticity, positive psychology, and leadership to focus on a flourishing life.
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