John Havens: Proust Questionnaire

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John C. Havens is the founder of The H(app)athon Project, author of “Hacking H(app)iness,” and a contributing writer for Mashable.

What is your ideal living environment?
My new house. Fireplace, lots of wood molding, great natural light, a dog, and it’s where my family lives. Perfection.

Where is your favourite place to visit, virtual or real?
Europe. I love the history, food, and (in my experience) positive serendipity.

What are your favourite simple pleasures in this modern world?
Playing music. I play blues guitar and harmonica and playing connects me instantly to my best self and my faith.

What person, place or thing would you revive from the past?
I think Atlantis would be great to visit if it was revived and I could get there without getting wet. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces. Plus I wish I could have met Stevie Ray Vaughan, my guitar idol.

What do you embrace now that you never thought you would?
My sense of age. While I’m aware of my body changing and growing older, I love being 43. I feel like I’ve finally grown into my emotional, spiritual, and personhood skin.

What is something you would love to be able to do in the future that you can’t do now?
Driverless cars. Can’t freaking wait. Hopefully they’ll time it to be ubiquitous before I lose my eyesight.

Would you like to live forever?
I believe I will but in a spiritual form as my faith is the biggest part of my life (at one point, I had planned to be a minister.)

Who has impacted your thoughts the most lately?
The idea that we’re already living in a fully connected, Big Data, privacy is gone kind of world. It’s just that not everybody sees it yet. I go between thinking I’m batshit to thinking I’m really smart. But either way, I feel a great deal of urgency to talk about the issues of ethics and tech so people can start to pursue their own journeys of discovery on these ideas versus just wait to see what happens.

Which celebrity or public figure deserves their iconic status and why?
Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen. I love technology, but if you create an idea that empowers millions (maybe billions by now) of people to get microloans and start their own businesses to help their families survive and economies thrive, you are a rockstar.

The book, the movie or the video game?
Book – loving Iain M. Banks’s, “Consider Phlebas.”

What fills you with gratitude?
God and the notion that I am lucky and blessed enough to have the wife and kids that I do as well as the over-abundance of food and stuff.

Do you see flaws as part being human, or as something to overcome?
Both… The Greeks had it right – catharsis comes when you watch someone start at one place, go through some serious shizat, then come out at the other end having accomplished their goal, task, or heroic journey.

If you were being gentle with yourself, what would you forgive?
My sometimes almost-constant desire to be liked.

What is your loftiest wish for yourself or the world?
On a personal or faith level, I’d love people to know the God I know (loving, forgiving, all-powerful yet intimate, etc) but all I can do is share my experience and have long talks with anyone open to discussing faith.


Watch the interview with John Havens, and read his full bio


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