What does happiness mean to you? There’s a lot of searching going on these days for the elusive emotion of “being happy” --where do you find it, how do you create it, even what it actually is.

But I’d like to share a little secret with you -- happiness is not for the lucky few who were born with it.

You see, happiness is not something you can reach out and touch or put in the refrigerator and take a sip when you need it. Happiness is not found on a beach in Hawaii (really!) or in a perfect body. It’s not even in that unachievable perfect relationship that Tom Cruise tries to sell us in the movies.

Yet from the images bombarding you every day, it’s easy to make the mistake that happiness will arrive on your doorstep when you have the latest care, the best clothes, a fancy home, isn’t it? It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that if you could just find the right person, they’d arrive with a box of happiness attached to his/her hip. But all this does is convince you that happiness is something to be found outside of yourself.

And that’s where you get off track. Because the secret is that happiness is simply a by-product of creating and living a life that works, a life that you enjoy -- whatever that is. Happiness comes from doing what you what, where you want to do it, who whom you want to do it with.

And yes, I can hear all of you -- “But I can’t get the job I want because I’d have to go to school for 8 years, and I have to live here because I can’t afford to move, and what do you mean “who I want to do it with” because I WANT to hang out with Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey or Bill and Hillary Clinton”.

And thank you all for making my point for me.

You see, happiness starts by believing you have control over your life; and grows by making choices that will give you a sense of well being, satisfaction. Happiness comes from deciding that you *will* go to school for 8 years if that’s what it take. That you *will* organize your life until you can afford to move. And that YOU decide who to hug, how much to smile, what music you listen to, and even who you hang out with, even if it’s not Bill and Hillary.

Happiness is about making the best choices you can about who you spend your time with, how you making your living, how much you learn, what you put into your body. Because when you feel good about the space you’re in, when you’re with people you admire and respect and they admire and respect you, when you’re working on a project that’s meaningful to you -- happiness will shine right through.

And that’s no secret.

Author's Bio: 

Life Coach Kathy Gates specializes in clarity, focus, and motivation. I believe in self acceptance first, self improvement second. Find out how by visiting www.reallifecoach.com.