We asked some of the happiest folks we know to tell us their secret.

Shauna Garrett | Filmmaker, Gaffer/Grip

Working in the entertainment business as a filmmaker makes me happy. As a current freelancer, entrepreneur, and as a black woman in an industry that is still male-dominant, I find myself thrilled by the amount of risk-taking required to keep this dream alive in such a fast-paced, competitive field. On the flipside, finding happiness in filmmaking can be exhausting at times. It is hard to strike a healthy work-life balance, find time for physical and mental health care, and with a pandemic raging on we’ve all pretty much kissed our social lives goodbye outside of Zoom and Facetime calls. For me, the key to maintaining my happiness has been to focus on the big-picture and remembering my goals. Above all else, my ultimate goal is to bring glory to God in all of my work, without whom would any of this be possible. I want to impact the next generation of creatives by making space in the art world for new ideas and marginalized voices. Read more>>

Shelise Ann Sola | Actress, Writer & Costumer

Happiness is a funny word. We all strive to achieve it, yet fail to realize that it’s not something to be won, rather something to settle into. Happiness is a state of mind that exists when we stop comparing ourselves to others, start appreciating things we already have and shift our perspective to one of gratefulness. Having said that, life makes me happy. Simple things like drinking a warm tea on a rainy day or laughing till I cry with a friend. What I love about living a life of presence, is what evokes a state of happiness within me is constantly changing. Sometimes writing makes me happy and fulfilled, other times just going for a walk seems more exciting. I will always do my best to honor what makes me happy in any given moment and never apologize for changing my mind a million times. One thing I can say that is consistent however, is I definitely feel a strong sense of happiness when I help people. Evoking happiness in others is a sure way to evoke happiness within yourself. Read more>>

AJ Danna | Actor

As an artist, one thing that makes me happy is the connection shared by creators and their audiences. Be it live theatre, theme parks, television, or film, storytelling presents a precious opportunity for communal experience. Actor and filmmaker Ethan Hawke once described entertainment venues as spaces we go “to share stories, to generate empathy together, to broaden our views, and be together.” It makes me happy to be part of industries which help generate enjoyment and shared experience for audiences everywhere. From large screens in a movie theatre, to a small screen connected to a streaming app, it’s an honor to be part of creating those connections with an audience. I am grateful to have experienced this feeling many times over, both as a creator and as an audience member. Performing for children, and contributing to family entertainment in general, have always been particularly magical storytelling experiences for me. Read more>>

Melissa Carpenter | Concept Designer & Retail Store Owner

Creating an experience for people makes me happy. Changing someone’s day (for the better), inspiring someone…giving someone a moment to stop their busy life and enjoy a nice moment for themselves is everything to me. Read more>>

Yichi | Motion Designer

Always feel grateful. There are a lot of small things we could get started on, such as appreciate healthy or even a meal. I try to practice and appreciate what I already have in my life. This acknowledges my mindset that I could focus on the positive instead of the negative. When I felt thankful, it reminds me of the happy memories that make me happy. Gratitude brings happiness and this is what I experience. Read more>>

Christina Diaz | Writer & Art Curator

Writing about artists makes me happy. Read more>>

 

Devra Swiger | Pilates Instructor and Author

We all know it’s hard to be happy all of the time, but I find that if I have a solid routine doing things I enjoy, that I’m pretty happy most of the time. I find that if I have time to exercise, work, socialize and relax all throughout the course of a day, then I feel great. Read more>>