We regularly ask our interviewees what makes them happy because at the end of the day, what else really matters? We’ve highlighted some of the responses below.

Jenny Diem | Model & Landscape Photographer

A lot of things make me happy. Ice cream, sloths, and hiking are some things that come to mind. Most importantly, my partner, family, and friends make me happy. They have always been super supportive of my goals and aspirations and they continue to encourage me through it all. In addition to those closest around me, I am the happiest when I am traveling with my partner, discovering and exploring new places, and capturing the beauty of the world through my lens. I have been to four continents and the ones I have left are Australia, Africa, and Antartica. If the conditions allow, my partner and I will be taking a cruise to Antartica at the end of this year which will be a huge accomplishment for me to take photos of the country for my landscape photography. Read more>>

Danny Arroyo | Actor / Writer / Producer / Geek

For me, happiness begins the moment I wake up on my very comfortable bed, see the sunlight outside my window shining through, fill my lungs with a deep breath, and live in gratitude that I am alive. Happiness is all about living in gratitude. From the smallest things in your life that most of us take for granted, to those big things we work towards, visualize, and have manifest in our lives. When one takes into account all the many things one has that can be appreciated such as having food in the fridge, clean water to drink, family and friends to call or visit, a warm cup of tea or coffee, or knowing your smile and hello made someone’s day, it then makes it difficult to have that one thing that maybe did not go your way cancel out all the endless good in your life. Meditation and gratitude is the key to happiness and makes my life journey a fun experience whether it’s a road I am familiar with, or a brand new one with new. Read more>>

Nancy Mogy | Motivational Speaker/Emcee/Actress

Waking up everyday and using my gift to promote love in anyway I can is my ideal form of happiness. I believe everyone is born with a gift. This is something they can do that makes them feel whole and an action that either gives love, reminds others to give love, and spreads it. This form of love can be with friends, family, strangers, and provide a feeling of warmth. My gift is using my passion for public speaking and sharing things that make people feel something. When I am up on stage engaging a crowd, making them laugh, making them sad, or even reminding them to love themselves, these are the moments where I feel I am most myself and experiencing a sense of contagious euphoria. Even the moments when I am not on stage or am talking to an individual person, there is this feeling I get when I can tell someone is moved by my words and inspired. These are the moments when I feel my happiest, when I am sharing love and doing what I was destined for. Read more>>

Malena Cadiz | Musical Artist and Educator

Feeling grounded in the moment. Spending time with my family and community and diving into my work as a musical artist and teacher. This gives me a real sense of purpose and a place to focus my creative energy. Read more>>

Tavetta Patterson | President, Abundant Life Publications

It makes me happy to see people win. It makes me happy to make a positive difference in the world through Abundant Life Publications. I firmly believe the purpose of a business is to make a positive difference in the world by helping people to discover and live their purpose. For example, this is feedback from a person that I recently worked with and she posted online: Last month I graduated from my business class that I had been quietly taking. Same day I pitched my business to a room filled with bankers, loan officers, angel investors, my peers and 3 judges (real life shark tank moment). I can’t tell you enough how afraid I was to pitch my business…even thinking of a plan earlier that week to advise my instructor that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the ceremony. Read more>>

Ruzz Cao | Singer & Streamer

I think music and space makes me happy. Space – I mean by time for myself, to relax, to take care of myself and to do whatever I feel like I want. I love music and I listen to it everyday. It makes me feel happy by physically and mentality. Read more>>

Varissa Brum | Food & Travel Influencer

Connecting with people in our local community through food makes me happier than I can describe. There is something about sitting with a stranger and connecting over a dish or cuisine that they know and love. To me, food is the best starting point to get to know who someone is because there are so many meaningful memories tied to meals. Read more>>

Maxine Davis | Singer, Songwriter, & Healer

So much has changed in the last year. 2020 hit us all like a ton of bricks. We were all stripped from our daily luxuries and what many of us though were true necessities. In a way, it’s been a blessing in disguise. We have been pushed to see the beauty in simply being. What used to make me happy doesn’t even hold a candle to what brings me joy now. I’m a new mom of a handsome baby boy named Phoenix. Looking at his face everyday these past couple months has brought me a feeling of happiness that I never knew could truly exist. I am truly honored that the Universe blessed my partner, Sam, and I with him. Read more>>

Noelle Oliveira | Photographer & Graphic Designer

Being creative in a way that makes other people happy. For instance, seeing how my photography helps someone’s self esteem. Often times people feel self conscious about themselves at the beginning of a shoot. They’re not sure what to do or how to pose, but by the end of it they are working it for the camera and having so much fun. When they see the photos they get excited and say, “wow I look so good!” That makes me so happy. Read more>>

Brooke Stephenson | Singer/Songwriter

What makes me happy is having staying true to myself. In my experience, that means trusting my intuition, having clear goals and being intentional about how I’m working toward them, having a strong support system, and trying to maintain some balance between work and play (which has been hard during covid). This has allowed me to follow a path that feels right to me, instead of listening to others. It allows me to feel that I am living life to the fullest. I do try to look to the future, but not rigidly. I like to follow where the wind takes me, because it keeps me always learning and growing. Read more>>

Brandon Stuart | Creative Director and Entrepreneur

Because in many ways it captures the deeper intent behind many of the other questions and most of our behavior. But I’ll focus my answer on my professional happiness as a Creative! What makes me happy is creating products from scratch that I believe need to exist, and then seeing them valued by strangers. When I see the potential for a new idea to bring value into the human experience, I have a hard time unseeing it. I find a great sense of fulfillment putting the work in to bring it to life and seeing it begin its existence in the wild. Across all of my ventures, there was always a moment of awareness that something I was experiencing could be better, and the happiness that kicks in as the Creative journey begins. Read more>>

Annabelle Azadé | Fashion Journalist

Curiosity makes me happy. It is an innate skill, but I think it is also just like working out; you need to work on it. I think curiosity is what makes your life truly rich. It nurtures the mind, brings you hope and makes you realize how many different ways one can lead a life and find happiness along the way. Read more>>

John Imah | Technology Executive & Entrepreneur

Helping others makes me happy. There is a and old saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” When helping others, we reinforce our view that we can help others, which reinforces a world view that people do help each other. Read more>>

Annie Huang | Filmmaker

For the longest time, I had thought that success was a good measurement of my happiness. As someone living in a competitive world and working in the creative field, it can feel as though the amount of achievements or accolades I have garnered should contribute to my own happiness. The question itself is daunting. If I was to pinpoint my happiness to one aspect of my life, or rather, an individual, would that mean that my fulfillment is measurable in that way? And if I was to be faced with adversity in that area or relationship, would I still be happy? The chaos of 2020 has forced me to think, more than I already do, about big, scary questions like “what makes me happy?” To others, it may be simple. Money. Family. Friends. A significant other. A great job. But I often wonder if happiness itself is definable. Read more>>

John K.D. Graham | Film Maker

I find happiness when truly diving into something. Whether it is a film, painting or gardening, getting truly lost in what you are doing brings joy and a connection to the divine. We are creators and when you can truly put your head down, lose all distractions and enjoy the process of what you are doing, then you will find joy. The noise of the outside world can melt away and you will find that only you and your endeavor remain. It’s almost like existing outside of time. I should know because this is when I become the most absent minded about the rest of life!. Read more>>

Jordan Nicholson Nicholson | Music Photographer & Barista

Simplicity in creativity makes me happy. Being able to focus only on the key activities you love to do and putting your all into them, without letting outside distractions get in the way. It creates truer, more honest results and I love focusing on that in every aspect of my life. Read more>>

Joslyn Rose Lyons | • director • producer • creator

It makes me happy to create, to tell meaningful stories, create media with a message, to make movies, to inspire others to follow their dreams. It makes me happy because I find inspiration in igniting that spark in others. I believe that even the smallest projects, or the tiniest of sparks, is enough to ignite and illuminate an entire path ahead. It also makes me happy to cook, and listen to great music, and to garden…oh and the beach. The ocean makes me so happy. Read more>>

Dom O’Bannon | Tarot Reader and Community Builder

Freedom. This is obviously a loaded question, but I think my lengthy list can all be summed up to freedom. Freedom of expression, financial freedom, sexual freedom – which ultimately leads to choice. The freedom to make my own choices makes me happy because that means I am always in control of my happiness regardless of my environment or any external influences. Read more>>