Happiness interview: Richard Florida.
I'm a big fan of the writing of Richard Florida. I first got to know his work when I read The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life, which started me thinking about work, time, and place in very different ways. In the same way, Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life really made me think about place in a new way (and made me even more grateful to live in New York City).
Much of his work is about happiness-how to find the work, location, and situation that's most likely to suit you and allow you to be as happy as you can be. I was very interested to hear how he thought about happiness, himself.
Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
Yes, what I am doing right now. Not your questions, I actually enjoy answering them but sitting down behind my keyboard. I do it for hours and hours every day. It gets in the way of me being more physically active and enjoying people and the world outside.
Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you've found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to "Be Gretchen.")
Yes, every day needs a party. My wife Rana and I have one every single day in our own way, making dinner, drinking wine, watching a movie, going for a walk, hanging out with family or friends. One way or another we find a way to make a party each and every single day.
Have you always felt about the same level of happiness, or have you been through a period when you felt exceptionally happy or unhappy-if so, why? ?
I've always been happy. Almost every day of my life. I simply cannot remember not being happy. Two things though have made me happier. One was meeting my wife and building a partnership and a business together with her. We do everything together. What a bummer it is to have a travel or do things alone. The second is becoming myself in my forties, figuring out that the person I really have to please and be in life, is me.
Have you ever been surprised that something you expected would make you very happy, didn't-or vice versa?
Yes of course, any material purchase I made. I end up feeling guilty.
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