I was reading this blog the other day and she had such a great post that I had to borrow some of the content. If you haven't read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Love Pray, you must. I know some people have read it and couldn't get into it, but I thought the lessons taught in this book were priceless (soon to be a movie starring Julia Roberts...and if Julia likes it, well, come on now!)!
Anyway, the main premise of the book is Elizabeth's search for her life. The one she's been delaying for so long. She takes a year and travels to Italy (to eat), India (to pray) and Bali (where she falls in love). Here's her incredibly insightful (I think) view of happiness.
"I keep remembering one of my Guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.
You fight for it
strive for it
insist upon it
and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations for your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."
Now go out and be happy for goodness sake!