The Surprising Science of Happiness

Find Out How to Leverage Your Untapped Potential For Happiness To Achieve Better Health

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By Karl Lawrence on Friday, June 19, 2015
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In this week's episode of Your Best Life, Karl interviews Deborah Heisz who is the co-founder and editorial director of Live Happy LLC and Live Happy Magazine. Deborah has more than nine years of publishing experience and is the founding editor and chief of Success Magazine. During the show, Karl and Deborah discuss what makes us happy, being meaningful, and whether it is a destination or journey.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What is your perspective on the problem of happiness?
  • What kinds of things qualify for being meaningful?
  • What is your daily practice, and what have you learned?
  • What would people find if they grabbed a copy of Live Happy Magazine?

Key Lessons Learned:

  • The concept of positive psychology has been bouncing around academic circles for more than twenty years.
  • The important tenant of positive psychology is to teach everyday people how they can improve their lives and be happier.
  • People are focused on outcomes instead of processes. “When I get this, I'll be happy."
  • The achievement of a goal only presents a small window of happiness. Working toward the goal actually brings you more happiness, as it provides meaning.

What is Happines?

  • Happiness is a skill. We need to unlearn bad behavior and retrain ourselves.
  • Our happiness is only 50% dependent on our genetics, 10% dependent on our circumstances, and 40% on our daily actions and choices.
  • Happiness is about choices we live everyday.
  • We are hardwired to evaluate our happiness based on things we have or achievements.


  • The five components that drive our happiness:
  • 1) Positive emotions
  • 2) Engagement
  • 3) Positive accomplishments
  • 4) Positive relationships
  • 5) Meaning

When You're Happy

  • People need to reframe their focus in order to be happy.
  • When you are happy, you make better decisions.
  • Happy workers earn 30% more than their less cheerful counterparts.
  • If you focus on happiness, the success will come as opposed to focusing on success, which history and science show that it doesn't create happiness.
  • Positive people are perceived as leaders.
  • Laughter is one of the keys factors in elevating our mood.

Being Meaningful

  • Meaning is one of the keys to happiness.
  • Meaning can be reframed by asking, 'why is my job important?'
  • Statistics show that happier people give more and are generous.
  • Meaning is found in our relationships. 'How do I fit in my family or group of friends?'
  • 'What is my ability to make a difference?'
  • Longevity for older people is based on their human connections.


  • Negativity is contagious.
  • 30% of people in the office are geared toward positivity and don't express it because it doesn't feel welcome.
  • You are what you consume. This includes what you read and watch.

Live Happy Magazine

  • Mix of articles relating to the science of happiness and how it impacts individuals.
  • Profiles of people who have made changes in their life in order to be happier.
  • Tips to live a happier life.
  • Inspiration and things to act on and change.
  • There's no scandal or negativity, only things that help you lead a happier life.

Thank you for listening!

If you enjoyed this podcast and would like us to produce more, please click here to subscribe and leave a review in iTunes!

Links to Resources Mentioned

Live Happy
The Myths of Happiness
The Happiness Advantage
Give and Take

2 click to tweet links! (Thanks for helping spread the word!)

Tweet: What are the 5 components that drive our happiness? Find out w/ @livehappy & @wellnessgroup Tweet: What are the 5 components that drive our happiness? Find out on the Your Best Life podcast w/ @livehappy & @wellnessgroup

Tweet: Is happiness dependent on genetics or our daily choices? Find out w/ @livehappy & @wellnessgroup Tweet: Is happiness dependent on genetics or our daily choices? Find more w/ @livehappy & @wellnessgroup

From Your Best Life Podcast with Karl Lawrence

Happiness psychology Relationships podcast wellness
I am out of work and I have been depressed for years. It keeps getting worse and I take an anti depressent. I really think I am also bi polar. I just want to die.
Posted 8 years ago by John
This article states that 50% of our happiness is genetics. From where does this scientific proof come?

The article, overall, is interesting, but it's more fluff, than meat. From an author who puts "Dr." before his/her name, facts would make this a great article.

If the blanks, so to speak, are filled in, I will send it out to my 8k social media followers.
Posted 9 years ago by Sarah
Focusing on the positive works! I used it to come out of a decade of major depression when I realized focusing on the negative was what got me into the situation in the first place.
Posted 9 years ago by Michael Davis

About Karl Lawrence

Karl Lawrence is the host of Your Best Life on the Radio Network. Check out his work at Read More