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Happiness Where You Live

Can you be happy wherever you are? Sure you can. However, sometimes you have to really try for this happiness while other times it comes natural. There have been many discussions and debates as to how you can or cannot be happy wherever you are.

First…what is it that makes you happy? Defining what makes one happy makes it easier to define where one can be happy. Likewise, what is it that drives you absolutely insane and makes you miserable? This too can play a big part in what makes you happy or not.

Think about this for a minute. Someone says to you “you can be happy anywhere”. It’s true to a point. A generally positive person can find happiness just about everywhere. A friendly and social person will make friends no matter where they are and they’ll have fun all over town (or out in the wilderness if that’s where they prefer to be while sharing time with someone). However, if you absolutely loathe the heat, how happy can one be in the Sahara? If someone hates crowds, don’t you think this person may find it easier to be happier out in the middle of a small town as opposed to living in the middle of New York City? I think so.

This thinking all stems from my most recent trip from Atlanta to Santa Cruz. I have lived all over the United States and traveled to many more spots. Everywhere I’ve lived I’ve been able to meet some pretty darn good people and have a good time. My life has shifted focus in each location (for example, in Atlanta I have seen more live music shows, played a lot more soccer, frequented a few more eating and drinking establishments, etc while my time living in Santa Cruz was mainly spent outdoors hiking, surfing, mountain biking, road biking, snowboarding, running our own company and helping other entrepreneurs run their companies) but nonetheless I’ve been happy for the most part wherever I live.

“For the most part” is the integral part here. There are things about Atlanta that drive me nuts, such as really bad traffic (second worst in the U.S.), not-so-temperate weather (quite hot and humid in the summer and cold in the winter…granted it’s colder in other parts of the country), nowhere to ride my bike. Santa Cruz is tough because the California economy is sucking it big time right now and it costs a bit more for housing out there.

My trip so far has been quite amazing however. Entrepreneurs everywhere. People who love being outdoors. Chill personalities. These are all things I hold dear to me and I’ve pretty much had a permagrin on my face since I’ve been here. My brain has been spinning with business ideas while talking about business with fellow geeks or while sitting on the beach with my surf bum friends.

So just what am I getting at here? As usual, it’s time for us to all look deep into ourselves and define what makes us happy. What are our passions? Are we reaching for them or are we stuck in a rut? If we’re in the rut, what is keeping up from achieving our full potential?

Most people respond by being around people that think along the same lines. Creative people bounce creative ideas off each other. Athletes bounce training ideas off each other and train together. Business people run business ideas off each other.

Where are you? Are you surrounded by the people you should be surrounded by? Take some time and let’s find out how we can do that. Making this simple change can improve your life dramatically. Look around your neighborhood. Look around your town. Your state. Your country. The world. If you aren’t happy, it’s time to make a change. Sometimes a small change is all it takes (join a social soccer league, a knitting club, a book club…whatever it is) and sometimes a bigger change is needed. Make a move if need be. If you hate ice and snow, what the hell are you doing living in Antarctica?

This trip has certainly had me thinking about my happiness. I’ve gotten a good bit of work done from the energy I’ve been filled with. I’ve pondered what makes me happy and what I need to do. I’m setting the ball in motion, writing this, doing that, creating this, thinking about that. Like all people, I want to be happy. Now to do what it takes to be happy instead of complaining about the economy or a bum knee and getting on with what we need to do…follow our passions and be happy.

Did I leave this post fairly ambiguous? Of course I did…I want to get some good dialog going and see what people think. It’s amazing what can come out in your OWN head when you engage in conversation. Deep down thoughts and feelings suddenly arise and you have that “ah ha” moment. Let’s get this going…