Our Happiness Movie

One evening some time ago, I was sitting around with some friends discussing life in general. Eventually, we began to talk more specifically about the way in which different cultures and age groups experience happiness. We felt that the perception is that everyone wants to be happy.

But then, after a few moments, we reconsidered. Does everyone really want to be happy?

As happiness is indeed a choice, do people intentionally choose happiness? Maybe some people make that choice but countless others wait for happiness to arrive or be bestowed upon them by some miracle. Everyone’s idea of happiness is different and every person’s way of achieving it it different. I myself was not a happy person up until about 10 years ago when I began to make the choice to happy. I looked in the mirror nearly every day and asked myself “am I happy?” That question, among others, inspired me to write two books about my journey towards happiness. That is also why I want to make this “happiness movie”.

How to Always Be HappyThe Happiness Chronicles is a documentary film project that I began 3 years ago in an attempt to answer the question “what is happiness?” Every person on this planet has the right to be happy but just what is happiness? How does one explain it and, more importantly, how does one achieve it?

I set out on a mission to find out how to achieve happiness. I decided to interview people from all walks of life, any culture and any age group to discover the answer. So I put together a small team experienced at documentary filmmaking and we decided on 10 important questions we wanted to ask. Though some of the questions have changed over the course of time, we have maintained the basic format throughout.

One of our many subjects is a street musician named Stu. He lives in a small apartment near the University of New Mexico. We spent some time with him at his apartment before following him downtown to his outdoor “gig.” Stu is very lively, kind of funny and way out there. I was a little taken aback when I first arrived at his place. It was a typical bachelor pad – you know, stuff everywhere! During the course of our interview, I came to realize that he was quite an amazing character, as you, too, will see in the film.

Cecelia – collector of art and a beautiful soul! She is a small business owner in Albuquerque who keeps a beautiful and extensive art collection. Recently, she was forced to downsize her store and get what many consider a “real” job – a direct result of the current economy. Cecelia has maintained a most wonderful outlook on life even though she has experienced a great deal of adversity.

Singer and songwriter Rex Warren is one of my favorite subjects. He is an incredibly talented musician who seems to be endlessly in a good mood. We all ask ourselves why he is not famous already and why he has had to keep a job with a forklift company. When he plays his music you just want to jump up and dance! He, too, has overcome his share of tragedy and soon plans to relocate to Hawaii. What a great spirit!

Some of the people we interviewed for our happiness movie did not even really believe in happiness even though they were surrounded by people who seem to be happy.

©Christina Florence – April 2010

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