The researchers at National Geographic and Gallup have scientifically determined that if you live in Silicon Valley, you’re happy.
So give us a smile!
If regional bliss can be quantified, it’s measured in things like:
- healthy eating
- learning something new every day
- civic engagement
- financial security
- vacation time
- dental checkups
- time spent smiling and laughing (you keep track of this, don’t you?)
- access to green space, and
- just an all-around feeling of “making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals”
Silicon Valley may be number one in our hearts, but it’s not number one on the Geographic’s happiness list. That honor goes to Boulder, Colorado, where most everyone feels “active and productive every day”. Boulderites’ secrets? Walking to work, low rates of smoking and obesity, and high rates of exercise. Although living in Boulder isn’t always a day at the beach: “49 percent of locals surveyed reported feeling stress”.
We’re not even number two on the list. Blissed out Santa Cruz-Watsonville grabs that spot, but languorously.
Silicon Valley, “where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day”.
The Valley, represented by its stand-in, the San Jose Statistical Metropolitan Area, comes in sixth, after San Luis Obispo. And why are we so darn cheerful? Geographic touts the Bay, something most of us know is out there somewhere, and those 300 days of sunshine annually.
Those priced out of Silicon Valley but searching for convenient bliss can shelter in #13 Salinas.
Slightly less happy, but still darn perky, are residents of #17 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward SMA. Geographic seems to think those cable cars climbing to the stars may be partly responsible.
Frankly, I wasn’t sure we’d place high on the list, because I sometimes hear a discouraging word around here, not to mention occasional wailing and gnashing of teeth. But the bottom line for an upbeat metro, according to the Geographic, is “pleasure, pride, and purpose”. And let’s add a fourth “p”, something I heard a mother in a Safeway check-out line instruct her preschool son to feel about anything he did, and de rigueur for anyone trying to get some of that deliriously happy Valley lifestyle: passion.
Yep, we got all that.
copyright © John Fyten 2017