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The Happiness Quotient

Author: Thom Pollard

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Adventurer, filmmaker, public speaker and personal coach Thom Dharma Pollard delivers inspirational, intimate and unfiltered Stories That Inspire in each episode. Expert guests discuss their chosen craft and tackle the Big Questions about life's meaning, spiritual inquiry, happiness and self-fulfillment. World class adventurers and NY Times Best-selling authors, leaders in the entertainment industry, musicians and psychologists share insights about living a meaningful life and how they've made their intentions a reality by following the core passion of their hearts. The Happiness Quotient: connected, engaged, passionate people who inspire us.
66 Episodes
"All of my wisdom came from all the toughest daysI never learned a thing being happy"These words from The Wood Brothers' song Happiness Jones sum up our podcast. The band has given us the green light to use the song as our new theme music! We are beyond honored here at The Happiness Quotient. Hear the story of how it came to pass.We're also going to introduce you to 6-time Everest climber Michael Hamill of Climbing the Seven Summits, one of the top Everest and moutaineering guiding and outfitting companies in the world. From Hanover, New Hampshire, Mike lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and daughter. They're expecting a boy in February 2021.Mike's packing now for Everest, where his team has already established Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier in Nepal. His twenty+ years of guiding on 8,000 meter peaks, including 13 expeditions to Mount Everest, make him the perfect interview to hear how Nepal is doing after having shut down the 2014, 2015 and 2019 Everest seasons, how it's impacted the people who rely on the mountain to make a living.For more information about Mike, find him here: the Seven Summits YouTube channel:'s book, Climbing the Seven Summits:'d like to thank Oliver and Chris Wood, Jano Ricks and The Wood Brothers management, as well as their publicist Kevin Calabro for granting us the rights to use HAPPINESS JONES for our theme music. We are deeply honored. Find The Wood Brothers at: Wood Brothers on YouTube: Jones video can be seen here: more about Thom Dharma Pollard, about personal coaching or his inspirational presentations, virtual or in person, look for him at eyesopenproductions.comTo join his mailing list for A Course In Happiness, email him at thom.dharma.pollard@gmail.comA Course In Happiness and a downloadable pdf of the most recent A Course In Happiness can be found at the show (
Recorded just as the polls closed during the runoff elections in Georgia, USA, we bring back Dr. Nathan Schwartz-Salant for his insightful take on how an individual must stand one's ground during times of chaos and uncertainty. The late Dr. Nathan Schwartz-Salant, a prominent Jungian analyst, in this interview from February 8, 2020, on the eve of the New Hampshire primaries, offers a way for us to 'stand our ground' during these uncertain times, how to embrace the darkness of the collective psyche. His insight and analysis is perfect for  Dr. Schwartz-Salant is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology {IAAP} and has been practicing as a Jungian analyst for almost fifty years. His first book, Narcissism and Character Transformation: The Psychology of Narcissistic Character Disorders, published by Inner City Books in 1982, is a classic in the Jungian field. Recently, he contributed the chapter "Healthy Presidential Narcissism: Is That Possible?" for the popular book, A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Donald Trump, that came out during the 2016 presidential campaign.Thank you to Dr. Schwartz-Salant for your incredible insight and advice to those finding themselves at dis-ease during these maddening times. Music for Episode 30 is by Mild Wild and was found on the free music archive. They can be found at more about me please visit and ask to join my mailing list. Support the show (
Our thoughts are very powerful. The thoughts that make up a great part of our conscious life create the person that we project onto the world, create the reality of our own lives. Imagine a person being a tiny little radio station, broadcasting out to the world the thoughts, fears worries emptiness and depression that fill the mind. To commune with your soul, all it requires is for you to be like Source, or Soul, that being an all loving being, So when you choose to come from a place of love your energies reflect that, and your little miniature radio station broadcasts that into the world. When we do that we find ourselves in synchronicity with the energies of one’s soul, or godlike energies….How do we do that?By adopting a vision of something worthy….by endeavoring to aspire to something greater, more noble. A Course In Happiness and a downloadable pdf of today's A Course In Happiness can be found at Readings:Emotional Intelligence - Daniel GolemanAutobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa YoganandaThe Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge - Carlos CastanedaZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert PirsigCloud Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal: Alan WattsA COURSE IN HAPPINESS PDF DOWNLOAD CAN BE FOUND HERE: from today's episode was found on the free music archive, featuring the brilliant music of Marianne Dissard. Please find out more about her incredible music at:www.mariannedissard.comFor more about Thom Dharma Pollard, about personal coaching or his inspirational presentations, virtual or in person, look for him at eyesopenproductions.comTo join his mailing list for A Course In Happiness, email him at thom.dharma.pollard@gmail.comSupport the show (
Folks, the winter solstice approaches. Thom gets prepared to announce some HUGE news about the future and where things are going.  Groove to some music by Daniel Donato and let Thom tell you what it's all about. Music by Daniel Donato, the real Cosmic Cowboy "Always Been A Lover" Find him at: www.danieldonato.comFind his music on Spotify by typing in 'Cosmic Country" and listen to his podcast on Apple Podcasts at: friend Will White, who suggested I start podcasting (mentioned in this episode) has a podcast himself, called Stories From The Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy more information about Thom, visit:www.eyesopenproductions.comPeace and Love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
What do you get when you mix a Jam Band with a Country Band? You get Cosmic Country, a la Daniel Donato, a rising Nashville musician who got his start on Lower Broadway in Nashville at the age of 14 when he first stepped on stage. His story is inspiring, amazing, insightful and filled with positivity and wonder. Daniel's new album is called A Young Man's Country, and you can find it here on Daniel's website at Daniel's podcast is Daniel Donato's Lost Highway: visit me at or visit me on Apple Podcasts and Subscribe: you for visiting!Peace and Love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
After eight wonderful years locked in the embrace of a warm cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, it was time I had to move. The news came as such a shock that it hadn't occurred to me to shop for a home to purchase. Time was short. I had two months to find a place to move the entire kit and kaboodle, in an absolutely over-saturated rental market, tapped by AirBnB and second home buyers, finding a place to live is nigh impossible around here. But, the Universe provides!I share my experiences with the move, have a final fire pit at the cabin, and immerse myself in the icy cold Saco River to cleanse myself of all past negativity to usher in a new phase of my life. Brrrr!The shorter video version of this episode is on YouTube at this link: is by 'me': songs include Can't Find My Way Home, That's What Angels Can Do and my own composition from the 2003 Viracocha II Reedship Expedition.JOIN MY MAILING LIST! Email me at thom.dharma.pollard@gmail.comFind me at eyesopenproductions.comFIND ME ON APPLE PODCASTS AND SUBSCRIBE. LEAVE A REVIEW!Peace and Love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
This is the Truth about Everest.Hours after the passing of my mother in 2016 I was visited by a magnificent presence that assured me of my safety on Everest. Three months later, high up inside the Khumbu Icefall, that same presence assisted me during a serac avalanche in which four of us might have been killed. PLEASE SHARE AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on Apple Podcasts. If you would like to be added to my mailing list or to be notified with details of the upcoming Everest event please email me at thom.dharma.pollard@gmail.comMUSIC for this episode is by the AMAZING Garcia Birthday Band.Please visit their website:http://gbblive.comEyes Of The World by GBB: Know You Rider by GBB: a great day. Come from a place of Love.Support the show (
As Chair and CEO of Warner Bros., Ann Misiaszek Sarnoff became the first female to serve as a Studio head in the entertainment industry. Ann is truly a trail blazer, an inspiration to young and old to prove that hard work, determination and persistence far outshine the traits championed in the age of immediacy. Ann was named head of WarnerMedia’s Studios and Networks Group in August 2020. In this role, she is responsible for all of WarnerMedia’s content-focused teams, uniting the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, HBO and HBOMax, the Warner Bros. Television Group, DC, kids/young adults/classics (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoon Network Studios, WB Animation), TBS, TNT, TruTV, Wizarding World, consumer products and gaming, to work together across titles, brands and franchises. An unmatched collection of world-class brands and content creators.Sarnoff brings more than 30 years of business and media experience to this post, as she guides the Studios and Networks Group in support of WarnerMedia’s mission to engage and delight the global audience with innovative, engaging entertainment content.I grew up in the same town as Ann and we graduated from high school together. We talk about our time growing up in a small town in western Massachusetts, her influences and her path to becoming one of the most successful women in the United States or world today. Music for today's episode comes to you from the free music archive, featuring the music of Jan Morgenstern. He can be found at more about me, find me at eyesopenproductions.comPeace and Love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
Michael Palmisano has created a brand for himself as one of YouTube and the internet's premier guitar teachers. Known for his "Guitar Teacher REACTS" videos, he has - as of this date - over 171,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel "Michael Palmisano. Micheal can't remember a time in his life that he wasn't playing or holding a guitar. He decided to go 'all in' on a career with the guitar after getting his business degree. Times weren't always easy. He married well, as he says, his wife saw the person he was going to be before he became it. Her mantra is ‘we can do anything’...let them try to stop us.Michael's music and his message are inspiring and intoxicating. You will love not only his teaching style but his positive message about life.  We recorded our interview on video. Stay Tuned for a video version, TBD.You can find Michael on YouTube at: website is here: www.guitargate.comMichael on social media:Twitter: look for me at eyesopenproductions.comOr write me at to be added to my mailing list. Support the show (
A few years ago I had a hernia operation. The first thing I said to the nurse after I awoke from surgery was "The subconscious is a place created for people who need to hide their fears." Honest, that's what I said. This brief episode investigates how fear and negative thinking can ruin us, starting with the idea of NOT feeling sorry for oneself. The power is in how we think, plain and simple. For more information about me or how to join my mailing list, find me at or email me at thom.dharmapollard@gmail.comMusic was found on the free music archive and by the Vivisectors. They can be found at www.thevivisectors.comPeace and Love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
You could say that in every dark cloud there is a silver lining….  COVID, as you know, has wreaked havoc on human life and the economy, around the world and in the US. In this episode we welcome back a guest who visited us in April for our HEROES OF THE QUARANTINE CULTURE episode. David Brancaccio, is HOST AND SENIOR EDITOR OF MARKETPLACE MORNING REPORT ON PUBLIC RADIO.Anyone who has a page dedicated to him in Wikipedia is SOMEBODY!  Here’s here to talk all things economy with us today, wrapped inside a tasty combination of stories about model rockets and S’MORES.  Yes, the perfect s’more is on tap for today....David is a journalist, tv and radio host, reporter and storyteller….his website is David, as many of you know, keeps the pulse on business innovation and the economy, politics, human rights, national security, the environment, health care, and science policy. In 2007, David won a national Emmy for coverage of a public health story in Kenya. In 2009, he won a Walter Cronkite Award for excellence in television political coverage.Today David is going to explain what the economy looks like leading into the election on November 3rd. He uses four letters of the alphabet to explain it: V, W, U and K....go figure.Music for today's episode was found on the free music archive. The Vivisectors can be found at For more information on me and how to contact me, visit www.eyesopenproductions.comSupport the show (
It's not lost on me that on this day in 2001 nearly 3,000 lives were lost and a nation was shocked when four coordinated terrorist attacks were waged. The gravity of the situation pales in comparison to the bump in the road I'm currently going through.  I, we, have been asked to leave a home that I have lived in - rented - for over eight years. The abrupt and shocking news was delivered to me via the most impersonal of methods: certified mail. The sudden interruption of 'normal' has given me pause for great introspection, as has the words of the occasional troll or hater who feels the need to chime in on some of my Facebook posts. They're the ones who get me thinking.In this short episode I reflect on how gratitude, to me, is the only answer.Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness,Thom Dharma PollardSeptember 11, 2020Support the show (
HOW NOTES HEREOliver Wood has a touch of survivor's guilt. Many of his peers and even some mentors in the music business didn't stick with it. Finally, after years of sleeping on couches and sharing hotel rooms with bands he got a decent paycheck in his mid-40's. He and his brother Chris, the younger Wood Brother, call is "the slow rise to the middle.'Oliver's take on life during COVID and the music business, life in general will keep you captivated in this exploratory interview that encompasses two new singles that he released independently of The Wood Brothers. Soul of This Town and The Battle Is Over (But The War Goes On), as well as more Wood Brothers music will fill your ears and heart with good sounds and inspiration. www.thewoodbros.comSongs appearing in this episode, in order of appearance:That's What Angels Can Do (played by Thom Dharma Pollard)Shoofly PiePostcards From HellHoney JarOne More DaySoul of This TownThe Battle is Over, But the War Goes OnWho The DevilClosing Song: The Wood Brothers performing "Who The Devil" at Music City Roots live from the Loveless Cafe on 10.23.2013 found at: Calabro Music Media the show (
Canoeing the heights: rock climbers in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire in the USA performed a high profile, high wire, eye catching demonstration in New Hampshire's White Mountains at Cathedral Ledge on September 5, 2020. Sightseers and curious tourists hiked up the Cathedral Ledge road to see the Rainbow flag representing the LGBQT movement and a huge Black Lives Matter flag flying from the canoe, replete with two paddlers secured safely inside. The display could be spotted from a mile away and was the collaboration of a couple dozen area and regional rock climbers who endeavored to show the visitors to the valley that all are welcome here, regardless of color, gender identity or sexual orientation..I live just up the road from this mecca of the rock and ice climbing community. Cathedral Ledge drew me here decades ago to be a forever resident. When I heard about the demonstration I hurriedly packed up my recording gear to capture interviews and raw sounds of the scene. This episode of Baker Street with Thom Pollard brings to you a special Labor Day weekend demonstration of socially conscious individuals who quite literally put it all on the line to make a statement. Interviews with local climbers included Freddie Wilkinson, Josh Laskin, Mickey Hardt, Alexandra Roberts, Sam Conley, Lindsey Leone and some out of town people who came to see what the buzz was all about.  Have a listen. Music for the episode is brought to you by Lobo Loco, found on the free music archive. You can find his music at musikbrause.dePlease visit my website at eyesopenproductions.comSupport the show (
Herein is a revelation straight from Havana Cuba, where I witnessed a mirage of my father, who had passed more than a decade before. My father was a poet, an English literature major at Brown University. He instilled in me an almost surreal sense of the romantic, which, and this is for a future episode, I believe is what made him an alcoholic, and, tragically, partially inspired the death by suicide of my brother, only three months after his own passing. These are lessons learned in pursuit of Everest, where in 1999 I came face to face with George Leigh Mallory, who disappeared 75 years previously, last seen with his partner Sandy Irvine at over 28,000 feet in 1924. The series of events that unfolded after that discovery jarred me awake me from a dreamy sleep of ignorance. I’d been living a life steeped in idealism. After the discovery of Mallory, which made world news, I found myself the object of ire by a few....a few who became the object of my ire for years….until, seated at the Ambos Mundos bar in Havana Cube I came to realize they were my greatest teachers. In that moment, I knew I was ready to begin writing my story….Music for today's episode is by Stewart Miller, Natalia Kamia and other invisible entities.They can be found at visit me at AND LOVE,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
Barry Katz does not disappoint with his unique and inspiring blend of life philosophy, Hollywood chutzpah, life coach and all 'round good guy. For a man that towers over me at, what, 6-foot-four, he is soft spoken and mild mannered. Give him a chance, though, ad he'll spellbind you with his insight, wit and wisdom. In Part 2 of my interview with Barry, we veer off into new territory. In fact, while bestowing his life's stories of love, loss and incredible commercial success with comedians that he has represented, he takes the time to school me a bit on my own life's achievements. You'll be inspired and entertained by this wonderful interview with my old friend, Barry Katz.For more information on Barry, you can find him at Barry is also on Instagram and Twitter @barrykatzMusic for this episode is brought to you by THEE Reverend Freakchild from his incredible album The Bodhisattva Blues. For more information on the Reverend and how to buy his album, visit for being a part of my journey at Baker Street with Thom Pollard. Please visit my website at www.eyesopenproductions.comPeace and Love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
This is a story about a father's enduring legacy, about a man who left this world young. While any dad who leaves before his time is worthy of consideration, this dad was world famous. He was the legendary blues harp (harmonica) player, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, vocalist and band leader the late Paul Butterfield.Today we go for a ride through Paul's old home of Woodstock, New York with his son, Gabriel Butterfield. Gabe was just 22 when his father passed. His father's fame was worldwide. The Dalai Lama invited the family to attend a private prayer and chanting to help Paul get to the next realm. In the yeasr since, Gabriel has weeded through the many stories of people portending to have known Paul. yet, what endures for Gabriel is the love that Paul and Gabriel's mother Virginia passed down to him. This is a fun yet moving interview with a man whose love for his father is boundless. Music is provided by a band formed by Gabriel and Jimmy Vivino, Paul Butterfield Revisited. Here are two performances by the band, recorded by Thom Pollard in November of 2012 at the Bearsville Theatre:Born In Chicago: Out of My Life Woman: more information on Thom Pollard please visitwww.eyesopenproductions.comPAUL BUTTERFIELD'S PAGE ON THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME SITE: Butterfield on stage to induct Bo Diddley into the R&R Hall of Fame: the show (
On April 18, 2014 the silence of Everest was forever rocked by a devastating serac avalanche that took the lives of 16 souls. In an instant, all that was ever believed about Everest changed. The gigantic block of ice was believed to be the size of a six story apartment building. As it tumbled down over the steep wall of the west shoulder of Everest, it smashed into thousands of pieces, many the size of small cars, and exploded into the Khumbu Icefall.Climbing through the Khumbu Icefall that morning were over 100 individuals, most of them Sherpa porters and cooks, who worked for the many guiding outfits that catered to clients such as myself with the dream of climbing Mount Everest.I was sleeping in my tent at Base Camp that morning, about a mile from, but in direct view of where the tragedy took place. My guest, Jim Geiger, was in the tent directly next to mine. I was filming Jim on his quest to climb Mount Everest. I was filming a documentary about Jim on that fateful day. Jim, 68, was endeavoring to be the oldest American to climb Everest. Our expedition would end and the dream of climbing Everest gone for Jim. A POWERFUL film about Jim's quest is being released throughout North America for download and rental today. The film was produced by the award winning Steven Oritt of Los Angeles, Californa. I have Jim and Steve with me today and we discuss that day and their beautiful and inspiring film ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER, which is available for download on iTunes, released by Vision Films. Music for this episode is by LOBO LOCO, found on the fre music archive. You can find him on                                                                                                                 Jim is a motivational speaker whose life’s purpose has been to help people help themselves.         Support the show (
Barry Katz is a modern day renaissance man. He is also funny as hell. Smart. Successful. Humble beginnings. I met Barry in high school, where we competed on swim teams from neighboring towns, then went on to compete together on the Boston University Swim Team. Barry's beginnings are inauspicious: he was a high school bully. A swim coach - who happened to be my AAU coach - spotted Barry serving detention one day and said 'kid, come swim with my team and I'll get your 9 million hours of detention wiped out.' Barry was officially born. He is a successful talent agent, helped jumpstart the careers of comedians Dave Chappelle, Tracey Morgan, Jay Mohr, Jim Breuer, Louis CK...need I say more? Hell, just that he worked with Jim Gaffigan is enough for me. He has brokered 100 TV development deals, Executive Produced over 50 television specials....  Barry got his career off to a start in Boston, as a student at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Services at Boston University, and - well, you'll hear it here - made his way through the side door of the comic industry by good old hard work, taking risks and, ultimately, how he responded to a tragedy in his life.Listen up. Be ready to be inspired. Ladies and Germs, Barry Katz, of Barry Katz Entertainment from Hollywood California.Find Barry on Instagram and Twitter:@barrykatz Music by The Reverend Freakchild off his new album The Bodhisattva BluesFind him at: his new album at: SUBSCRIBE to Baker Street with Thom Pollard on Apple Podcasts, or find me at for more about Mount Everest or to inquire about a speaking event. Ask to be on my mailing list by writing me at Support the show (
When I first started climbing back in my late 20’s I wanted to mix my newfound love of the mountains with my career….  It was my dream to bring the two together, so that I could make a living doing what I love, that being a filmmaker or cameraman filming on mountains around the world. It’s taken me many places, including four expeditions to Mount Everest.The Highpointers with the Bargo Brothers is a new PBS television program premiering in July 2020 fefaturing my two guests, Branndon and Greg Bargo, who explore the United States by climbing the highest point in all 50 states. They invite local experts and some of the country's most interesting people to join them as they discover the best that each state has to offer.I was fortunate enough to be featured in Episode 3 of The Highpointers, climbing to the summit of New Hampshire's highest point, Mount Washington. It's a wonderful episode. Our interview talks about their program and about all the work that it took to make it to this point. They're great guys and are tons of fun to listen to.MUSIC for today is Metyu, VKTRD and Ondro M, found on the free music archive. You can find them at or on their YouTube channel Met YuTHE HIGHPOINTERS can be watched online at  PLEASE check them outWrite me at thom.dharma.pollard if you'd like to be added to my mailing list. Check me out at for more and to inquire about my speaking presentations and how you can hire me for one of your events. Peace and love,Thom Dharma PollardSupport the show (
Comments (3)

Steve Burgess

Great job with Episode 27. As a veteran, that really hit home.

Jan 15th

Jim Graham

Beautiful, raw and powerful stuff, Thom!

Oct 30th
Reply (1)
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