Happiness Project: Series of Interviews With Top Bloggers: Win Over $650

I want you to brace yourself, because I’m going to tell you what you want out of life. In fact, I’m going to tell you what all human beings want across the board. From the most selfish human, to the most selfless saint, the one thing that we share in is the desire to be happy.

I think it’s safe to say that happiness is something we wish to experience as much as possible. This is why I believe it’s important to understand where happiness comes from, what is it, and how can we stimulate more of it.

The people that are taking part in this interview are very notable bloggers and powerful influences in my life. The reason I chose them is because they’re clearly respected and admired by thousands of people. It made sense to see what the people we look up to think about the subject that affects us all.

My goal for this project is to explore the subject of happiness, and spread the awareness that happiness is achievable by anyone and everyone, at any time. The possibility that I create for this project, is that everyone who participates, and reads these interviews will be left inspired, empowered, and happier than they were before.


The Questions

  1. How do you define happiness?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?
  3. What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)
  4. What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?
  5. What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?

Happiness Project: Format

Each Monday morning at 6am EST, in the month of February, I will be posting the weekly lineup of participants of the Happiness Project. At noon each weekday, I will put up a single interview, in which I will include a short biography, or autobiography of the participants, as well as their answers to the questions above.

Due to the overwhelming, and generous, response that I received, some days will have two interviews through out the day. Who knows I might even put up another article to keep you entertained. However, I think that I will be using this month to guest post on other blogs. If you would like to guest post on this site, head over to the contribution page, and read through the details.

Interviewees: A Contest

When I asked people to participate in this Happiness Project, I did not tell them there would be any prizes in it for them. Everyone contributed out of good will, and was very happy to do so. While it may not always be the case in life, as it currently stands, this good will is going to be rewarded.

If you are one of the amazing people that I’ve had a chance to interview, you can take part of this project as if it were a contest. The winner will be decided based on which article has the highest number of original comments at the end of the month. Original meaning from different people and I.P. addresses.

Interviewee Contest: Prizes

The winner of this contest will get to choose their favorite charity, to which I will send $200. The gift of giving is amazing, and I’d like to give that gift of giving to you. In addition, the winner will receive 1 month free advertising in the 468×60 header (which is dual rotation), and 1 month free advertising in the homepage 340×280 (which is dual rotation).

Group Writing Project: Instructions

I would love it if everyone followed the whole project, from interview to interview, and left thoughtful and insightful comments. However, I also want to give you another way to engage this topic, and open up to your own readers at the same time. During the month of February, you can participate in the happiness project by answering the interview questions on your own blog.

  1. Be as genuine as possible when answering the questions.
  2. Link back to this post in order to let others known about the project, and so I can keep count.
  3. Just in case, post a link to your post in the comments below.

Group Writing Project: Prizes

Group writing projects can be an incentive in themselves. You get to share yourself with your readers, participate in a community by seeing what everyone else is writing about, and get linked to from a central location. I will be linking to all participants in a special post at the end of February. I will also be giving away several prices for those people who participated in the group writing project.

  • 2 people will receive 125×125 advertisements for the whole month of March.
  • 3 people will receive sponsored links for the whole month of March.

For those of you who don’t have a blog, or want another chance to win a prize, you can do so by being a Top Commentator for the month of February, and following along with the Happiness Project.

I’m going to be very strict with deleting spam comments, and continual spam will result in a ban. With that said, I’m looking forward to reading your thoughtful comments on all topics.

Notice to Advertisers

This is an excellent time to purchase an advertisement on this blog, as this promises to be a very engaging period of time. The month of January (2008) has seen well over 50,000 page views.

You Can click around the advertise page or go directly to the purchase form. As you can see, the ad prices are currently very cheap, and they will be going up at the end of the month, so hurry up and make your purchase now.

Side note: If you are interested to know what plugin manages all my advertisements, it’s none other than OIOPublisher, and I highly recommend it (my review).



I would also really love it if you added the posts in the happiness project to social networking sites such as del.icio.us, stumbleupon, etc. You can always find links in the bookmark widget below. Also, feel free to link to this project, and to any specific interviews that you like, or strongly relate to. You can even go above and beyond, by telling your friends about this project, and about the site in general, and I will love you all the more for it.

Subscribers and Prizes

There are two ways to subscribe to this site and get updates about all future articles. You can do it through RSS reader, or through e-mail. You can even choose to add yourself to both lists, which are completely private, and your information will never be disclosed.

If you choose to subscribe through e-mail, I will be choosing 5 e-mail readers at random, to receive a copy of Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.

All prizes: You have three ways in which you can get a prize. Group writing project, top commentator, or e-mail subscriber.

Visit the page titled Happiness Project in the header. This is where I will keep a running list of all the participants.

Update: The Contest is officially over, but you can still participate in the group writing project. Just answer the questions on your own blog, and I’ll ad your links to the happiness project page!

Posted by in Happiness Project | February 1, 2008 | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumble | Print | 113 comments

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  • http://www.smilemyday.com Smiles That Made My Day

    This is a great project.

    I just started my own happiness project too.

    Feel free to submit your happy smile to Smiles That Made My Day

  • ringlerun

    selfless saints probably want peace and enlightnment, not happiness per se! and claiming that “ultimately” everything leads to the reason to be happy is just plain stupid and a circular argument!

    everyone knows its all about sex

    (freud, or rajnish, either way, i win!)

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Haha… you are taking life waaay too seriously my friend =)

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  • http://www.powerfull-living.biz Lorraine Cohen

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the invitation to play. I just posted it here: http://www.powerfull-living.biz/blog/2008/02/20/choosing-happiness-every-day/ and linked back to you.

    Thanks for a great topic!


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  • http://www.artofallowingmindset.com BZ Riger, the path to a woman’s inner game to wealth

    This project will be very beneficial for all who read the interviews and ask themselves these questions. Its leading edge thought to pay more attention to happiness and feeling good. It transforms our lives and everyone we come into contact with. Just answered the questions on my blog and tracked back to here. eNJOY

  • ringlerun

    and you are not taking life seriously enough… its a balance game after all… or perhaps we should all just say… hey i’m happy, who cares about the starving kids in africa – not my problem, i’m happy… a certain amount of dis-satisfaction and realisation is necessary for progress… not saying happiness is not important… but its not “everything”.

    btw, this has got to be one of the most self promoting, lets rort people’s emotions and promote myself to make some money blog… you are no better than a gambling site!

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      This certainly is self-promotion… that is if my name is happiness. I am promoting happiness, and my vehicle is this blog.

      I understand your opinion, and I respectfully disagree with you. A person can be compassionate to the starving kids in Africa, and at the same time not be paralyzed by this pain. They could be happy, and seek fulfillment in donating their time and/or money to aid these children. If you read this interview series you will learn that happiness means different things to different people. I do not believe that someone should feel guilty for being happy because there is suffering in the world. Happiness is a choice, and one can choose to be happy despite adversity.

      For example, I support research for breast cancer. I don’t let myself be down all day long about the fact that many women have died for breast cancer. Instead I concentrate on the positive aspects of breakthroughs in research, and put up a little donation box to collect some money and do my part.

      Thank you for your opinion. Please insert gambling money here.

  • ringlerun

    your name is not happiness.. your name is deepak chopra – the con artist!

    happiness means different things to different people… of course!!!! how stupid of me… then why talk about it generically!

    and i’m not talking about being paralysed by the pain to motivate action… sure you can be happy and still have action… but we have a mind for a reason, emotions for a reason, a body for a reason… and they all have meaning and purpose… so to funnel everything down to an emotion (happiness) being the all encompassing truth is rather naive!

    and offering money to blog and link back is just a way to get traffic… the topic is not of interest to you… you have just picked it because you thought the sheep will follow this one and do what they are told… and in return you will exploit their naivety!

    you are naught but a con artist … actually… just a con!!!!

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Deepak Chopra? Awesome he’s a great guy, love his work.

      I’m not speaking of happiness generically, rather I am a) giving people an outlet to express what it means to them b) giving my own individual opinion on it.

      I did not say happiness is the all encompassing truth, but some would argue that our minds operate on a simple reward/punishment mechanism, and being rewarded means being happy. I would also point out that there are ways to synthesize this happiness, even when things aren’t really going your way. Operating from a happy state, in my opinion, leads to a much more productive and fulfilling lifestyle, rather than operating from a point of sadness/depression.

      This topic is of huge interest to me and is not one I chose on a whim. Previously I have addressed topics such as life goals and missions that we care deeply about. This was time for happiness. I do not think of people that are interested in what I have to say as sheep, I appreciate all my readers, and their opinions (that means you too ringlerun), and love the feedback.

      Being in the blogging world for over a year I learned that people like a little incentive, and contests are a fun way to encourage participation. My blog is one in a sea of over 120 million, and I’m willing to take extra measures to get noticed. I put thought into my writing, and into the presentation of the site. It’s all part of the package.

      Thank you for your feedback.

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  • http://communicatrix.com communicatrix

    Lovely project, and what a great list of participants you’ve gathered. A testament to your sincerity and passion.

    I posted an entry on my blog with a trackback (several, actually—I’m an overachiever!) and am posting in the comments here, as requested. I look forward to the last week of interviews, Alex.

  • ringlerun

    btw, alex, sham-man, so you are a fan of deepak cobra are you? figures! lets see how much money we can make by exploiting people’s emotions… or greed, or the desire to gain significance for that matter!

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Ringle, thanks for stopping by again. I had to edit your last post, because I prefer your negative comments be constructive, PG-rated, and focused solely on me, not other readers, when on this site.

      I wouldn’t say Deepak is one of my best friends, and he’s not on my list of people I would invite to a dinner party. I’ve listened to his stuff and it wasn’t bad.

      Is everyone from Milton so funny?

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  • ringlerun

    there was nothing in my comments that was not PG rated… (thankyou blogspot for autoemailing everyone who is following comments – so that at least you can see the unedited version).

    so sorry to be interrupting your “oh so important dinner party” sham man! of course cobra’s stuff wasn’t bad… its not designed to turn you off… its designed to suck you in…

    btw, is everyone from geocity so stupid! i’m not from milton… your ip lookup is obviously fautly…. try again!

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      You are now officially my very first troll. I’ve never had one before… I’m not sure what the to-care-for instructions are for a troll, but I do hope you find yourself fed and happy.

  • ringlerun

    woohoo… a label! a new box to sit in!!! how very clever of you… thankyou for the honour! please feel free to dismiss all sentiments – after all, what possible motives could i have but to try to disrupt your blog… i mean, it could never be that i honestly believe that your “commercial happiness” model that you are trying to profit via, could be more damaging than helping!

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      I’m not sure what you mean by commercial happiness. I haven’t given my input as to what I think happiness is. I’ve only given people the opportunity to express themselves and got them to focus their attention on a single subject (even if it’s for just a moment).

      On the other hand, take a moment to listen to the Daniel Gilbert video speaking at TED. You will find there is something called synthesized happiness, which works just as well as genuine happiness.

  • http://7pproductions.com/blog Al at 7P

    Hi Alex – just wanted to commend you on an awesome project. I’d like to share my response to the Happiness Project.


    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Already added you Al (yes, I’m that fast hehe). Thank you for participating!

  • http://www.seaykopitiam.com jamy

    Hi Alex,
    I have started a happiness project meme . When you have time, you are most welcome to read what I have done :http://www.seaykopitiam.com/2008/02/25/happiness-project-jamytan-of-seaykopitiam-dot-com/
    Thank you.

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Great Jamy, I added you to the list.

      In the next month I will make a separate post to encourage people to participate via their own blogs. Thanks for getting the ball rolling =)

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  • http://www.annerush.com anne rush

    hi alex, heard about your project through communicatrix.com–another of my favorite blogs. I have posted the questions and answers on my own blog, the savvy designer, http://www.annerush.com, and really loved taking the time to consider my answers. am enjoying reading the answers. thanks

  • http://www.lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat.com/ Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the head’s up. Didn’t have time to do it till now. I just posted my answers. http://www.lessonsfromarecoveringdoormat.com/2008/02/what-does-happiness-mean-to-you.html


    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Thank you for that great contribution Daylle. I already added you to the list =)

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  • http://blog.neverthesamerivertwice.com Never the Same River Twice

    Alex, thanks again for sponsoring this Group Writing Project. I’ve posted my answers at Never the Same River Twice and was very happy to contribute.

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  • http://LivingTheLawOfAttraction.com Ellie Walsh

    Hi Alex….
    I guess I am late to the party – but I do believe “better late than never” 😉

    I thought answering the 5 questions would be a “simple” task…. Instead I found this Happiness Project a deep, thought provoking exercise!

    I posted my answers at: http://livingthelawofattraction.com/loa-blog/the-happiness-project/

    Thanks so much for this project!! 🙂

    Ellie Walsh

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      The party only started when you got here Ellie, welcome in =)

  • http://www.brucisms.com Bruce from Brucisms.com

    Hey Alex,

    I’m with Ellie in the better late than never crowd! What a great exercise – I am truly honored to take part.

    I have posted my answers at : http://brucisms.com/2008/03/18/the-happiness-project/

    Thanks again, 🙂


    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      You are not at all late. This is prime time to participate! Thanks for your submission.

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  • http://www.veranadine.com Vera Nadine

    Hi Alex,

    I guess that I am joining in the very late crowd. 😉

    It’s such a great concept, let’s keep it going!

    I just posted my article, which goes live tomorrow:

    Thanks for all of your wonderful blogging ideas. You are a real blessing on this Earth.

    Brightest Joys,

    Vera Nadine

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