HP013: Why It’s Fine to Brag About Volunteering- and What to Buy for a Voodoo Priest

Episode 13


In minute 5, Joe mentions the book “Talk Like Ted.” Here’s a link to that book.

At about 5:50, in the context of TED talks, Pete mentions “awkward silences. It makes me sweat just to share this with you, but in the spirit of healing from one of the most traumatic 4 minutes of my life, here’s why.

Here’s a link to the newest incarnation of the nonprofit that Pete cofounded.

For those of you who’ve never had the good fortune of visiting Northern Michigan and finding one yourself, below is a photo of my wife’s hand holding a Petoskey stone- which we mention in minute 12. Note the “tessellating hexagonals.”

In minute 18, Joe mentions the book “The White Man’s Burden.” Here’s a link. Here also is a link to the Rudyard Kipling poem, which celebrates imperialism, and from which that book takes its name.

The main image for this episode represents Pete’s idea of what a “good goat” looks like.


HP011: Can Happitalists Get the Big Things Done? Also Am I Rich Enough to be a Happitalist?

Episode 11

Happitalists identify and engage in activities that directly maximize their well-being. This sounds pretty indulgent and self-serving; so in this episode we explore how happitalist thinking can help humanity get the big stuff done. We also urge you not to defer well-being until you’re “rich enough” (you are already rich enough).


Around 10:45, Joe mentions Simon Sinek and his book “Start with Why.” Here’s the relevant website.

Plus, here’s a very recent article sent to me by our field reporter (also my brother) Jon Kirkwood, which is very relevant to this episode: “How much money do people need to be happy?” Because research in this field is evolving, and because the money/well-being axis is a complicated one, look for a future Happitalist episode in which we discuss the interrelationship between happiness and life satisfaction- and also fun things like the “satiation point.”

HP010: It’s a Miracle We Survived- Pete and the Origins of Happitalism

Episode 10

Pete’s always had a conviction that life should revolve around something bigger than economics. An itinerant childhood gave him an outsider’s perspective, a legal education refined his analytical bent, running a business tested his worldview, an obsession with positive psychology and well-being science coalesced these influences into the economic philosophy he calls Happitalism.


In this episode Pete mentions a talk he recently gave at Traverse City’s own (terrific) Fulfillament spoken word event, in which he elaborated on his “origin story.” Joe promised we’d link to this talk in the notes. Here’s the link. While you are there, listen to some of the other inspiring stories of how these remarkable people came to be doing what they do- and how they are finding fulfillment in their work. Shout out to the amazing creators of Fulfillament: Chelsea Dennis of The Conscious Entrepreneur and Shea Petaja!

Bonus: The thumbnail photo for this episode is a young Pete on The Four Friends off some unnamed island in (I think) Indonesia.

HP009: Professor Steve Radelet Says Things Have Never Been Better

Episode 9

Democracy is breaking out all over, leading to notable improvements in most measures of well-being worldwide. But in more developed countries worker wages are stagnating, and income inequality worsening. We discuss the politics and economics underlying these trends with Professor Radelet- and we and consider the way forward.