At the end of one of my favorite T.I. songs, he asks a question that constantly echoes in my mind:

“Is you happy?”

Happiness seems to be an illusive mate. Many of us strive to reach some magical Promised Land where everything is in place and we feel a sense of blissful contentment. Unfortunately, though, life always seems to have other plans.

Instead of pursuing a career we love, we get caught up trying to make ends meet. Instead of falling head over heels for Mr. Nearly Perfect, we get tangled up in an emotional mess with Mr. I Hate You So Much Right Now.

Happiness sometimes seems as if it’s reserved for someone else. You know, those people who always seem to walk around with a smile on their faces because their life is just so grand and awesome and problem free.

Only, things aren’t always what they seem. While we think folks are skipping on a streak of perpetual sunshine, they aren’t feeling so keen about their lives either.

So what gives? Why does happiness seem so hard to attain?

One reason might be because most of us think happiness is a destination. We think when we get the right job or the proper spouse, or the apartment we love we’ll finally, finally, be happy. But that’s not how it works. True happiness, and its counterpart joy, comes from within, not by achieving things.

When we feel content throughout the journey of our life — despite the inevitable ups and downs — that is how we know we are happy.

Does this mean we’ll walk around with a silly grin plastered on our faces every day? No. Some days we’ll be modeling the latest scowl. But as long as we keep doing our best, keep pursing things that bring us joy, and stay optimistic about the future, happiness will be an ever-present part of our lives.

So, Clutchettes and gents, “Is you happy?”

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