5 Ways You can Find and Promote Happiness

5 Ways You Can Find and Promote local Happiness using ‘Actionable Insight’
through Local Programs, Events & Activities promotion

How often have you been in a new town or place where you didn’t know what’s going on? Or the best things to do, locally?
How often in your local community have you found something interesting, on a billboard or radio ad and forget due to the limited placement of the ad by “time and/or placement?”  I mean, if you don’t drive by that billboard again or hear the on air commercial it’s completely gone, right?  You can’t take out a piece of paper and start scribbling down the details while driving down I-65.  I rarely remember things after 2 minutes, anyway.

So, let me tell you a story.. Once I went to Maryland for a conference on health IT.  While in town, we were able to tour  DC and we stayed in Alexandria, VA.  Each of these places have a ‘treasure trove’ of art, history, social and/or sporting events and activities.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know anything or anyone, so I blindly had to put my faith in whomever would listen.

Also, unfortunate for me, I need to “know” everything (before making a qualified decision).  I want to get the best bang for my buck where ever I go, especially while on a trip.  I want to know what’s the best use of my time while there to stretch my dollar and to get the most out of my experience.  I get anxious wanting to ‘optimize’ my personal experience and time.

So, while staying in the Hilton on King St. in Old Towne, (Alexandria, VA) I came to realize there’s no directions or information relevant to my taste or interests, nothing ‘I wanted to see or do?’  I thought that was odd, and ask the front-desk clerk, where I’d find additional information, “well, sir, toward the end of Kings St there’s a Visitors Center -that would have this information.”  Being unfamiliar with my surroundings I totally took off walking in the wrong direction (away from the Visitors Center.)

Two hours later, I found my destination and a smiling attendant.  By this time, it was like 4pm and the day was beginning to wind down.  It was during the weekend as well and who actually ‘works’ on the weekend, if you don’t have too?  After reviewing a mishmash of brochures and such, I found a tour of George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, where tours had just stopped.  If only I’d of known sooner??  Maybe I could have avoided the Visitors Center all together?  By this time, the day was winding down and there was limited daylight so I moved on to dinner off Kings St.

Without boring your further, I’m sure you’ve shared the same experience even at home, forgetting about local programs, events and activities that you wanted to see or do before the event or program closes.  OR unable to assimilate all of the information that is nicely tucked away into glossy brochures at the hotel or local Visitor’s Center.  Let alone the walls of brochures found in the rest stops along the interstate highway while on vacation.  Fortunately, for us we have technology, right?

On a previous post we discussed Yelp and Foursquare, so options exist, right?  Google Places or Local as it’s called now?  Are these reviews by someone with existing interests similar to mine?  I have to admit, I’ve been following these applications for awhile and if your into conferences and startups, Plancast may help for this.  But I see a problem, these reviews are of places and places change character based on season (or time.)

I’ve seen these types of mobile apps come and go, are they considered travel apps, or entertainment for locals, or both?

Today, we’re being proactive and getting into the spirit of the holidays!  Much of what we’ve discussed has been based on technology and how it changes our lives and unexpectedly can help others.

I recently read an article by Jon Mitchell, a staff writer at readwrite mobile.  He came up with 5 principles for himself that can be applied to any mobile user.  In his article, “5 Smart Principles for Smartphone  Owners” he had great suggestions to live by. It’s not obvious how they might improve your life (or others)-yet, but with new mobile technologies, it dovetails nicely with my future post on happiness.

His 5 insanely simple principles include:
1. I will make things with my smartphone.
2. I will help people with my smartphone.
3. I will support my community with my smartphone.
4. I will not needlessly replace my smartphone.
5. I will put away my smartphone.

I believe in ‘actionable insight’ to improve ones life, helping others and generally the community at large.  If folks had a chance to update content (like Mount Vernon tours)  in a fun and interactive way, while also allowing them to increase their personal online (and offline) influence, helping folks (like me) in real life and finally support the local community by improving your Regions access to information-would they (or you) do it?

What type of incentive would make it worthwhile, local discounts? updates on future offers?  Real street credit?

I’ll be honest, as for most people, my goal for writing this blog is selfish, it’s that passion or interest to know ‘what’s going on”, while local and on the road.  That will make me happy to write well into my 90’s.  As mentioned, I believe we’re lucky or (enchanted and enlightened-per previous post) by technology and science of today.  Are we better off, then even colonial times-as it relates to the way we distribute our local events and activities?

All I do know is, we can turn local event information into “actionable insight” in the palm of your hand.

Here I go again, with ‘actionable insight,’ but I think when coupled with happiness,  yours, mine and others, it’s a powerful concept.  My goal for this blog is to improve awareness for local activities and events that provide happiness.  That’s pretty simple, I guess I’ve never really said it out loud.  Hopefully, you folks can help based on feedback, any feedback!

Can you tell me your favorite local event, is it seasonal?  I really want to know!  Please don’t leave me hangin’.

For example, 4 days from now will be Halloween and fortunately I won’t be partaking in “Trick or Treating”.  I do have a pretty cool option only 2.2 miles away, called Waverly Hills Sanitorium.  If your unfamiliar, it was a hospital for tuberculosis or the ‘white plague’ and an inspiration for the latest series on FX called, American Horror Story.  Here are a couple other Haunted Houses that might be local to you via the Travel Channel.

While a ton could probably be written about the positive or negative effects of being scared out of your wits-my girlfriend loves them. But anyway, event number one is in the books, one for home and one away (don’t forget Mount Vernon!).  I’ll continue the blog on happiness and soon build a truly functional warehouse of local events and activities, hopefully you’ll stop-by, stay in-touch.  Hopefully, you enjoy the content of the week, and possibly attend one of the events and/or tours listed while you’re at home or away.

If so, send me a pic of your halloween experience to my Twitter handle @holman_jc OR post them in this blog for others!

I love to see how terrified you were at the Waverly Hills Sanitorium, Buuooo ahh ahh ahh!

Til’ next time..

activities blog center community events experience go happiness help improve information know life local personal smartphone technology tell visitors 

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