On August 26th, 2012, I set out on a year-long journey to discover what makes people happy. I left my home in southern California with my car, camera, and a few belongings and traveled across the US and Canada to interview people about what makes them happy and gives their lives meaning.
At age 13, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and given a 30% chance of survival. I immediately underwent intensive chemotherapy and spent the next four years of my life in and out of the hospital for treatments. I lost my appetite and 25 pounds, suffered a stroke and a collapsed lung, and had food pumped into my stomach through a nasal tube. In the end, however, I was luckier than most and my cancer has remained in remission since 2001.
While I recovered physically from the disease, I continued to suffer psychologically. After stopping chemotherapy, I entered a period of severe depression and continued to struggle off-and-on for a few years until I finally made a concerted effort to get better. I took an interest in positive psychology and the study of happiness. I read articles and books that focused on happiness, optimism, well-being, and related topics in hopes of achieving greater happiness in my life.
My interest developed into a desire not only to better understand my own happiness, but to promote happiness in the lives of others. After several years, my dream of making a documentary detailing my journey and the many conversations I had with the amazing people I met is complete. I now feel privileged and grateful for the opportunity to share it.
I am also excited to share my book and video course with you. Both resources are designed to help you uncover your own true happiness. In them, I guide you through 11 exercises, based on my Four Pillars of Happiness: Discover Yourself, Accept Yourself, Connect Yourself, and Share Yourself.
It is my hope that my film, book, and video course help you unlock the happiest version of yourself. Together, I believe we can create a happier and more peaceful world.