You don’t need to be a basketball fan to know that LeBron James has been deciding if he should stay with his current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, or move to another, more winning team. ESPN set aside an hour-long special episode for James to announce that he’s going to the Miami Heat.

James is extremely talented and has been called the next Michael Jordan. He is a free agent this year which is the genesis of the hoop-la surrounding his decision, and he has been madly courted by multiple teams.

Many sportswriters have said that the widespread obsession with James’ decision is totally over the top. The New York Times called the ESPN segment an ego-a-thon, which it may well be. But there’s more to our fascination with the decision than just our natural tendency to be drawn to celebrities. James encapsulates the issues each of us faces when we decide if we should relocate.

It’s friends and family vs. opportunity. James grew up in Akron, OH without a father. His basketball coaches played father figure roles to him. The Cavaliers picked him up when he was only 18, and he’s been there for the last seven years. This is his home, his support system, and his roots.

The problem with Cleveland is that the team is not strong enough to win a championship. James has won every individual award but no NBA championships. And he could go to the Knicks, the Nets or the Miami Heat and just adding him would make that team the odds-on favorite for the next championship.

So James is choosing between safety and loyalty vs. ambition and accolades. For most of us, this is what relocation entails.

We know, in our hearts, that happiness does not come from fame, (and this hunch is confirmed in a study from the Univerrsity of Rochester). Happiness comes from close relationships with family and friends. But it’s a hard pill to swallow. USA Today reports that most of Gen Y says they’d like to be famous. That explains a lot of the relocating away from families in small towns.

Also, most of us are not as rich as James, and we relocate with money in mind. Research from Nattavudh Powdthavee of the University of London shows that to make up for the decrease in happiness that you experience when you leave family and friends, you would need to make $133,000 more than you were earning before the relocation. (So, in fact, money can buy some degree of happiness.)

For James, though, it’s not the money. Certainly he has enough. Which means he is looking for a life that is more interesting. The game is more interesting with top-tier players to pass to. James is a great passer. He's a great team player, and he doesn’t have anyone on his team that plays as well as he does. The thrill of playing is bigger with better teammates. So James is doing something many of us do—he is choosing a more interesting life instead of a happier life. (Note to non-NBA employers who bitch about loyalty: James is also is making a choice to go somewhere where he can grow his skills. Something that employers need to address if they want to keep any top-tier talent.)

I have written a lot about this dichotomy between happiness and ambition. I think our toughest decisions are actually between contentment and interestingness. James is not content. It is not his nature. He wants the game to be as interesting as possible, and he’s hit a wall in Cleveland. I think for many of us, the relocation bug hits not because it’s going to make us happier, but precisely because we are not searching for happiness. We are searching for something else. It’s scary. It’s scary to chase the interesting life because it means you are not likely to be content—maybe not ever.

And take a lesson from LeBron James: You can’t make everyone happy, and it’s risky to try. So when it comes to tough decisions, make sure you’re doing what’s right for you.

59 replies
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  1. Kelly S
    Kelly S says:

    Great post, Penelope. I actually thought about your contentment vs. interestingness post last night after watching the LeBron-a-thon.

    Some people may not agree with his choice, but it’s his life. He can live it how he chooses … and where. I think you outlined why better than most.

  2. Kandeezie
    Kandeezie says:

    “James is also is making a choice to go somewhere where he can grow his skills. Something that employers need to address if they want to keep any top-tier talent.”

    – Dead on! Employers need to focus on their abilities to develop talented employees as well, not just on getting the operational work done. Those employees have ideas that can make the company legendary, not just good enough.

  3. kristin
    kristin says:

    “It’s scary to chase the interesting life because it means you are not likely to be content – maybe not ever.”

    no shit. scary… and fucking intoxicating.

    i can read philosophy, practice science and find god until i’m blue in the face, but none of it can seem to give me a definitive answer about what the hell i’m doing here. therein lies the answer.

    when you pare it all down, Choice is what makes this human existence meaningful. and it’s all due to a complex series of accidents that i’m even here in the first place. that in and of itself seems answer enough…

    still, you don’t have to understand anything to appreciate the wonder of existence. but you do have to take full advantage of it, as you see fit, for as long as you possibly can. there is no refuting this.

    so, i say, “what else is more important than the interesting life?” you can try hard for happiness and still fail. so, fuck it. I’ll do “content” when i’m dead.

  4. Chris
    Chris says:

    Brava. This is a well-written article addressing the central issue of this current media mania. Ballers and sports egoists can sit down. This is where the issues are.

  5. ResumeWriter
    ResumeWriter says:

    Penelope,
    I almost cheered out loud at the warning to employers about employees leaving to grow their skill set. Too often employers are very happy when their environment is stagnant. Why mess with status quo? (Because your best employees will get bored and leave!) On the other hand, it’s not the job of your boss to ensure that you are constantly challenged and engaged; that responsibility also lies directly with the employee. In this employment market it’s much easier to keep and improve the job you have, rather than search for a bigger challenge. That challenge could end up being an 18-month period of unemployment! But I digress…awesome blog, as usual.
    For the record, this is the only article of any kind that I’ve read about LeBron James. Thanks for making his story relevant to my life!

  6. Ben Ziegler
    Ben Ziegler says:

    Nicely written Penelope. You offer a welcome perspective on Lebron’s dilemma, and of contentedness vs. interestingness. In the end it is about choice, as you say… doesn’t matter if it’s to have elite teammates to pass the ball to, or anything else that one feels makes their life more interesting (even marriage can be interesting!) … we choose what lens to see the situation through… and make “the decision”.

  7. Tom O'Brien
    Tom O'Brien says:

    Penelope:

    I agree with the gist of the post. I hope your next LeBron blog post includes advice on how not to burn bridges and embarrass the people who love you most when you make tough decisions.

    I don’t argue with his decision – just “how” he did it.

    TO’B

  8. csts
    csts says:

    wow — very powerful!

    Am I crazy, or are there essentially 2 posts here?

    The first half (extraordinarily well written, btw — it’s such a joy to read your writing!) leads up to the dichotomy between “safety and loyalty vs. ambition and accolades.” When you say LeBron James is like the rest of us in this respect, it ties back to your title– in fact, ties together everything you’d written so far (including the earlier “friends and family vs. opportunity” dichotomy, which you seem to be equating: friends & family = safety and loyalty; opportunity = ambition and accolades). This starts off as a post about whether to stay safe in a comfortable, harmonious environment or to choose the greater risk and potentially unknown payback inherent in moving to advance a career. Great question to consider, and I love the way you set it up.

    Then you seem to segue into a different question altogether by pursuing an intermediate transition, namely what makes us happy. At first you start out with another, similar dichotomy “between happiness and ambition.” This could still be equivalent to the earlier ones, especially when you develop the theme that happiness = friends and family (also = safety & loyalty?).

    But then you throw in an even more intriguing dichotomy (although the first to differ markedly from all the earlier ones). You move into “contentment” versus “interestingness.” (I guess this addresses my previous question of whether happiness also equalled safety & loyalty — you seem to be distinguishing them here, so no, apparently they’re not the same.)

    How does this new thread relate back to the earlier content? You seem to be addressing contentment and interestingness as two potentially competing components within the goal of happiness. Makes sense. Does more happiness come from contentment? or from interestingness? Worth pursuing.

    But when you finally wrap back to LeBron James, it seems you’re arguing that he chose both interestingness and the previously, non-happiness-related, non-safe “ambition and accolades.” He went out of his comfort zone (contentment — and again, doesn’t that equal the happiness of friends and family in your earlier collection of dichotomies?), choosing instead the stimulation and interest of challenging and growing his skills. That’s ambition, right? And yet, aren’t you also arguing that he does it out of preference for interestingness as opposed to contentment as a means of achieving happiness in his terms? Happiness suddenly seems to have moved away from safety and aligned itself with ambition, at least to the extent that ambition offers interestingness.

    Very powerful ideas here. Would love to see how the new direction and, to me, different dichotomy at the end could be tied into the structure so beautifully detailed earlier. Will stay tuned! And thanks for tying all this into something so big in the news last night. Again, wow!

    :)

    Chris

  9. Dhaval
    Dhaval says:

    Penelope

    I don’t know anything about the guy whom u have posted about to be honest.But hey yes i can tell its the constant urge to be better than others that drives individual to make difficult decisions towards progress. These decisions don’t stop even if he is better than every one else around him He wants to beat himself that is a part to better success in life. Otherwise who can explain Arnold winning Mr. Olympia 7 times.

  10. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    I really do enjoy when you write about contentedness and interestingness!

    They make so much sense, but I would’ve never thought of these concepts on my own!

  11. Chris Farmer
    Chris Farmer says:

    I know this isn’t the point of your article, but if you really think going to the Nets or the Nicks would have made either the odds-on favorite for the championship, you know nothing about NBA basketball. The Heat, yes, but the rest of the Cavs team is WAY better than the Nets or the Nicks. You also evidentally didn’t watch the NBA playoffs, because the main reason the Cavs didn’t advance to the Championship was because *LeBron* stopped playing.

  12. Hilary
    Hilary says:

    I’ve read many of your blog posts on similar topics, but something about this one made my semi-crazy decision to leave my good job and become an elementary school teacher suddenly make sense to me. I was incredibly content in my old life, but for me, teaching is really and truly interesting. In the end, the allure of an interesting life dragged me out of my comfortable existence.

    Thanks for helping me put words to my choices. It’s one of the many reasons I keep reading!

  13. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    I disagree Penelope. LeBron did not have to consider between “friends and family vs. opportunity”. He had opportunity all along. It’s not like he did not have a job in Cleveland. And as far as him choosing to go to a place where he has a better chance to win, Cleveland nearly landed in the finals last season. Not bad for someone who is only 25. And as far as a team player, absolutely not. He proved that with his ego-a-thon which he purchased on ESPN on Thursday night and with him quitting on his team in the playoffs. His choices are one of self-interest and an opportunity to have a lifestyle he so desires and much less about opportunity. He’s a product of our times and reminded us of that on Thursday night.

    I understand you trying to make the connection here but do not feel this is a good example. I think a better article would be ‘how not to tell your employer you are leaving’. Or ‘how to leave an employer on good terms’. This public display of “I’m leaving the company” on Thursday night was selfish, humiliating, and embarrassing and is a lesson how not to tell your boss you are leaving. :)

  14. Jonathan Streeter
    Jonathan Streeter says:

    For the record, I don’t know anything about basketball or the NBA.

    At any rate, I relocated to Madison from San Francisco to keep my marriage intact (my husband got a fantastic job here). I am really glad I came along for the ride and it definitely was good for our relationship. But after a year in Wisconsin, I realize that no matter how nice everyone is, I simply don’t find it interesting to live here. I don’t hate it and don’t spend my time plotting to leave. I found a good job, we have wonderful friends, and we do everything from Concert on the Square to symphony tickets to the farmers’ market, etc. I can see that Madison could be a total paradise for many people because it has a hell of a lot to offer.

    Until I read your post, I couldn’t put my finger on how I could still be discontent. But I think you’re on to something. I find NY interesting. Chicago interesting. San Francisco, interesting. I can’t explain why, and I can name all the things that are wrong with all of those places. But I’d rather live in any of those cities than in this pretty cool city where I am now.

    Interesting.

  15. Stacie
    Stacie says:

    Penelope,

    I DISAGREE with nearly everyone else- I did not like your post. Your post examined only one side of the coin- the selfish side. This is not surprising given your background (athlete, asperger’s, admittedly lucking into a lucrative career) – in short, you identify with him and did not fully examine the situation.

    First, you are wrong about his decision not being about money. It is entirely about money- he said so. He said he made a business decision. Clearly he thinks he, himself, will benefit more, he be more marketable, he will get a better contract, he will get more endorsements and he will sell more merchandise in a larger market team, he will grow his personal brand.

    Second, He DID NOT go to the Miami Heat because the caliber of play is better, and he did not go to the Heat because they are a shoe-in to win the next championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a deeply talented roster and for two years have had the best record in the NBA. He, in essence, blamed the franchise for not winning, but is not acknowledging that HE was part of the TEAM that failed to get it done! They were supposed to win; LeBron had several bad games, his teammates had bad games; they did not play like a team when they needed to. If he just wants to win, the Heat was not the best team who could have chosen.

    Third, Lebron is NOT going somewhere where he can grow his talent. The Cavaliers hired a new coach in an effort to keep LeBron and help him grow his talents. If he had chosen to stay and had committed earlier, other talented people would have been attracted to him. Talented players refused to sign with the Cavaliers BECAUSE LeBron would not commit to staying.

    Fourth, his body language told volumes more than the words coming out of his mouth.

    Finally, What you did not address in your post, is that SOMETIMES IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU! Sometimes it is about seeing the bigger picture; its about what is best for the people and community around you. What you where right about was that Generation Yers are selfish and they are fame-whores. Your post encourages people to be selfish.

    Living in Miami, will be exciting for LeBron. He will have plenty of things to distract him from his game and away from his family. He will be able to live more in the fast lane and he will face more temptations. This was not a good choice for his family. LeBron is being selfish.

    He never even thanked Cleveland, the franchise or his fans…The fans made him famous because he was a hometown hero. He acted selfishly. He showed no tact. He expressed no gratitude. He did not handle the transition well.

    If LeBron were a normal person, his co-workers would not like or respect him. His ego-maniacal, selfish attitude would not help him move up the career ladder. Employers would not want to hire him because he would not be good for the work environment. Lucky for LeBron- he has enough money to control the people around him, and hire as many “yes-men” as he wants to stroke his ego and tell him he is The King of his castle.

  16. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    I don’t know many people who could be happy without something interesting happening around them. I know I”m that way. I’m ONLY happy when something is interesting me. Having said that, I love this conversation around “interestingness” versus “happiness.” Good fodder to look deeply into life purpose, too. But, I don’t see how happiness and interestingness are the only choices. I think you can have both.

  17. Erika
    Erika says:

    My husband & I were discussing this, and wondering if it was a generational thing, which you also say in your article.

    He was saying that, for example, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson would NEVER choose to be on a team together, like LeBron has chosen to play with Dwayne Wade. Reasons:

    1) They simply could not have communicated as easily (e-mail, twitter, etc.)

    2) They are too ego-centric: each wanted his own championship, wanted to be the star and not share it with someone else.

    I thought that maybe LeBron was also showing millennial tendencies by “wanting to be with his friends” instead of going it alone to lead a team to victory. My husband thinks he’s making a mistake to be part of a stacked team rather than show he really has what it takes to be the star, like a Jordan.

    Anyway, the millions he’d make on any team hardly seem to be a factor at all. Small differences at that point.

  18. Dave
    Dave says:

    Penelope,
    You struck a chord here. Well done! Elsewhere, I read that if you want to thank a blogger, leave a comment. So it is.

    Not all professions are the same. Teachers like Hilary in a prior comment and engineers (like me) are (or were at some time) able to find jobs and happiness in small towns or large cities across the entire U.S. (even The World) as we please. NBA stars, actors/actresses, and stock brokers don’t have that luxury. Arguably, the best opportunities for them are most likely found in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York, respectively.

    Sometimes home is where the heart (and opportunity) is.

    -Dave

  19. Jessica Bond
    Jessica Bond says:

    Perhaps it seems that he is choosing an interesting life over happiness with friends and family that he has grown up with….but without a sense of continued personal accomplishment he would ultimately be unhappy if he didn’t move on. It really isn’t such a simple choice. Staying in stagnate situations although happy at the moment are often a path of missed opportunity in fulfilling one’s potential in life.

  20. Red
    Red says:

    Thanks so much for this post Penelope. I too am in the process of just such a decision. After living in LA for 6 years I am probably going to accept a job offer in India (where I am originally from). That means my family- husband and two kids will need to relocate with me. And the reason I am doing this is that the job opportunities in India are sooooo much better than what I am able to get here. It is going to be a hard transition and I am definitely not sure if I will be happier at the end of it, but the desire to take up these big and challenging assignments is too much for me to resist.

  21. Patrick Thrift
    Patrick Thrift says:

    Penelope, you’ve made some good points re: the LeBron saga and what motivated him to relocate; perhaps when those in Cleveland and elsewhere take a break from burning his uni, they might consider what they themselves would do in a similar situation. Ultimately, there is and often remains a lot of mystery around many of our decisions in life. Contentment comes with choosing what is right for ourselves (which many times flies in the face of popular opinion), AND by acknowledging that our choices have an impact (both intended and unintended), which can go a long way to restoring the peace. Has James done this? I hope so.

  22. PFJ
    PFJ says:

    About employers providing better and more interesting opportunities — Peter Drucker said that when someone is promoted, he or she should be able to do half the job.

    Because they would grow into the other half.

    So, the folks you’re talking about are getting their promotion — and hoping they will be able to grow into half of a new job.

    A problem frequently arises, however, when they didn’t really know what they were getting into. Where they maybe only know 1/10th of the job. (I think of people starting a small bookstore, years ago before computers. “But I didn’t know there was SO much paperwork.” They just knew and liked books; and that’s only 1/10th of that job.)

  23. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Right on…sort of.
    I get what you’re saying, but there is a big difference in LeBron “moving” to Miami and anyone else relocating. Number one- how many days a year is he traveling already? Number two- he has the means to be in Ohio any time his schedule allows. Most people who relocate do not have this particular luxury.

    His decision was a business decision. Professional athletes rarely stay in the same city forever. It’s part of what makes our professional sports franchises dramatic and interesting.

    He made a business decision to move (which was expected) while most “regular folk” make decisions to stay put.

    Now the whole aspect of the way he left…and the owner’s response…another topic entirely. Since when do you get to blast former employees publicly?

  24. Terry Vermeylen
    Terry Vermeylen says:

    Lebron James making an hour long special out of his decision was a consumers delight as Bing and a few other companies pushed their wares on the pathetic lemming pubic. What a waste of f***king time, when the world goes to s**t with materialism and our oceans being completely ruined, we pop massive hard ons for a guy how couldn’t give a crap about you, like he did to his former hometown which he never thanked. You are as much a lemming as he is to use his name to get good SEO ranking for this article. Lebron lives in a different universe as the rest of us and to use him as a comparison is an insult and pure idiocy.

  25. Brad
    Brad says:

    Magic Johnson didn’t seem to have a problem sharing 5 NBA titles with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    Anyway, this silly drama hit a new level of hype. I seriously doubt that Penelope or half the people discussing this topic have ever seen LeBron James play.

  26. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    And on a complete side note: Penelope, you closet punster, you!
    In a post relating tangentially to basketball, you managed to stuff in “… hoop-la…,” “… madly courted…,” “… over the top….”
    I’m oddly relieved you didn’t work in “dribble,” “re-bound” or “footwork” into the post. One of the great things about your writing is that you never seem to be trying too hard.

  27. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    I also disagree that LeBron is choosing an interesting life over support/family. I don’t really think staying was considered. LeBron is not a good passer but a good taker. The Cavs coach catered to his every whim which was not really great and probably lead to his decision. I still think the decision to go to the Heat was an easy way out. Not more interesting, just easier to team up with other players or his buddies. I also agree with another poster that while it is his career I think he really burned bridges and humiliated a city that backed him for those 7 years.

  28. Larry Benz
    Larry Benz says:

    I am at a loss to see where in his completely contrived interview did he ever mention that he was leaving to improve his skills. The real lesson is how “not” to leave an employer. You don’t have your “people” call your 7 year employer for you. You don’t stick them in the knife on a spectacle of a presentation in front of a national audience. You don’t continue to say “its all about what’s best for me”. You don’t continue to not respond to your owner’s texts and phone calls for weeks even though you knew you weren’t coming back.

    Lebron not only demonstrated poor leadership in the way he handled this mess he also essentially admits that he doesn’t have the leadership ability to build a team around him and win one on his own.

    Lastly, this money thing is also completely contrived as he ended up doing a sign and trade deal and with the tax favorability in Florida, he will actually make more.

  29. Hope
    Hope says:

    Yay! Posts like this were the reason I started reading your blog in the first place. Please do more of this and less … lifecasting? I mean, I KNOW it’s the intersection of work and life, but …

  30. Moneymonk
    Moneymonk says:

    Suppose if you want to get away from your family. You actually WANT to have a distance b/w them. I look at that as an investment. I’m from a small area that has decent jobs. I had to move from that mentality. Best investment I ever made

  31. Moneymonk
    Moneymonk says:

    Suppose if you want to get away from your family. You actually WANT to have a distance b/w them. I look at that as an investment. I’m from a small area that has NO decent jobs. I had to move from that mentality. Best investment I ever made

  32. Klaus
    Klaus says:

    OK, I have no idea of basketball and no idea who this guy Lebron is. Still, I found the post very interesting, kudos for that! :-)

    But about the interesting vs. happy dichotomoy:

    It’s scary to chase the interesting life because it means you are not likely to be content – maybe not ever.

    This sounds like an interesting and happy – or content – life are mutually exclusive. I’m not willing to buy into this. True, if you’re chasing an interesting life, you will have to make decisions like relocating, cutting ties and leaving people, places and traditions you love behind. But maybe you can find all that and “interestingness” on top somewhere else, at least for some time. Before your quest drives you somewhere else. So happiness would be more of an ephemeral thing, a kind of byproduct so to speak if you are main goal is living an interesting live. But it’s not impossible to have both, at least for some time.

  33. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    When you talk about the difference between an interesting life and a content one I am left asking — interesting to whom? To oneself or on some shot at an objective scale?

    One way the comparison is apples-to-apples — the other way seems to me apples-to-oranges.

    I find raising children, cooking and writing about it inherently interesting, and I am content. Apples-to-apples.

    Lots of people find raising children, cooking and writing about it devestatingly uninteresting, and I am content. Apples-to-oranges.

    If the goal is only to do what works for me, than interesting and content are compatible. They are incompatible if I am looking for an objective standard of interesting.

    Which one do you mean? Or am I missing the point entirely?

  34. Klaus
    Klaus says:

    Hi Elizabeth! My understanding is that “interesting” in this context has mostly to do with ambition and maximizing choices. So if you are looking for something that “just works” for you, then your goal is most probably a content life and not an interesting one. It’s not really important what you do but if you feel the constant urge to get more out of it and to find new challenges.

  35. Stanley Lee
    Stanley Lee says:

    For those of you who thinks Penelope doesn’t know basketball team dynamics a whole lot, just give her a break, as I feel this is one of the best posts I’ve seen in a while amidst renovations. Lebron James did show gratitude to Cleveland Cavaliers organization and fans, albeit not appearing very honest due to the ego-marathon show on ESPN with his buddies Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. There are other examples like Marian Hossa in the NHL (who switched team 5 times in 7 years, once considered a franchise forward, although the first he had no control in the first two relocations), which I talked about in my upcoming entry countering/filling in on your points: http://bit.ly/davvNt

    This articles apply quite well to professional backpackers or other people who resemble journeyman in professional sports.

  36. Celine
    Celine says:

    Your post is excellent and dead-on. James’ reasons for leaving Cleveland were valid and his former manager will have to deal. Interesting and Contentment are very divergent concepts. I have and continue to trade interesting for the latter in a second. But fair warning, we who live our lives out of the status quo will pay for it in some way. But it’s great to see where the status quo has led vs the road less travelled. It’s well worth the social or work cost. Loyalty to an employer is dead and they caused it. Don’t expect us to stay in an Unchallenging situation to please you, the disloyal employer.

    Confucious wrote, “May you live in interesting times.”. Note that living in contentment was not in his writings.

  37. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    This is a really insightful comment, Erika. I think I agree. And, like all millenniel quirks in the workplace, its hard to understand motivations when they are drastically different than our own.

    Penelope

  38. Jonha @ Happiness
    Jonha @ Happiness says:

    Penelope,

    I thought you stopped blogging! haha

    It’s good to see you adding a few contents weekly. At least. Kudos and this is really a great post. Look at that, very timely and I like this part:

    “So James is choosing between safety and loyalty vs. ambition and accolades.”

    Many times in our lives we need to choose between family vs our ambition. Sometimes they can’t go hand in hand. We need to choose one over the other. Now I like what you said, you need to decide not for others but for yourself. Who’s gonna leave the consequences but yourself.

  39. Dan
    Dan says:

    You are naive to think it’s not the money. Florida has no state income tax and this is a big incentive to go to Miami vs. New York which has both a State and City income tax which would cost him 12 million, net, over a five year contract.

    Most men don’t care enough about family ties to consider this in a relocation decision, especially at his level and airfare not even being a concern to him.

  40. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I think this may be my favorite post ever… probably because it speaks to me having lived in 8 cities before I even turned 30, and all those moves were from 18-28 yrs of age… searching for interesting. I’ve been content in San Diego for the last 9 yrs, and that’s probably because things have stayed interesting!

  41. JenG
    JenG says:

    Penelope,

    You know I write about happiness and a happy life (two different things by my definition) and I’ve struggled with your theory (like many) that contentment and an interesting life are somewhat exclusive of one another. This post is starting to sway me. I think this question not only needs to be asked in terms of where we live, but how we live, particularly for creatives.

    And I would add that the other compliment a reader can give in addition to comments is backlinks. ;)

    Jen

  42. Financial Samurai
    Financial Samurai says:

    $133,000 more is an interesting stat Penelope! Thanks for that!

    Do you know if the same holds true if you are already making say, $500,000?

    Just wondering what the income threshold level is. thnx!

    Sam
    Yakezie Order

  43. amy
    amy says:

    LeBron will not pay taxes in Florida. Florida does not have an income tax so the money was part of the equation also.

  44. trevorwallace
    trevorwallace says:

    What a timely article. I am currently in the process of leaving my hometown and a comfortable job for the Wild, Wild West. It is going to be difficult four sure but I have to be true to myself and I cannot work a dead end job with no chance of payroll for the rest of my life and somehow view that as fulfilling. For some people they value safety and security but not me I value challenge and adventure. Some people in my family think that I am crazy and maybe I am but don’t care it is something that I have to do.

  45. Jason
    Jason says:

    Michael Jordan never had to jump ship and team up with an all-star team to win several championships. I heard Dwayne Wade say that nobody can win on their own…that’s obvious, but Jordan made his team better and didn’t need to bring in a bunch of allstars.

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