“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands—clap, clap. If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands—clap, clap. If you’re happy and you know it, then your life will surely show it. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands—clap, clap.”
Do you remember this little song from Sunday School or camp as a kid? I didn’t know then how profoundly revealing it is about the order of happiness in our lives. Notice it doesn’t say, “If your life is easy and fun, you’ll be happy—clap, clap.” But the order it suggests is that if you are first happy, then what you do and have in your life will flow from that. Your life will reflect who you are already being, which is happy.
There is a powerful distinction here. The quality of your life will be greatly impacted by how you view happiness. Is it where you end up or where you start? Is happiness something you attempt to get and consume or something you choose to create and give?
Consumption happiness has you endlessly chasing after it on the outside. Have you ever noticed how influential the situations in your life are as long as your happiness depends on them going just right? You have to marry the right person, get the right job, buy the right car, join the right clubs…and THEN you’ll be happy. And you might be, for a moment. Notice that that kind of happiness never lasts. So you turn your eyes to the next thing that will “make” you happy, until you attain it, and realize that didn’t do the trick either. And when situations don’t go your way? Well good luck ever being happy then.
In contrast, created happiness has you generating it by choice on the inside. Have you ever known someone who is happy no matter what? This person brings happiness TO their situation instead of trying to get happiness FROM it. They are free from needing any external reason for their joy. They have discovered that what is seen comes from the unseen, what is tangible from the intangible. They know that happiness is always accessible whenever they choose to create it, and that it endures regardless of circumstances.
What if you never need a reason to be happy again? Reasons are just our scapegoat for not having the life we really want anyway. So here is your ‘how to’: choose it. Choose to be unreasonably happy; be happy for no reason at all and see what happens! Happily ever after only ever comes from happy right now, because happiness is not a place to get to, it’s a place to come from.