MarkManson.net peals away the layer on this secret: happiness is a side effect, “not something you obtain, but rather something you inhabit.”
Mark Manson writes (excerpt):
It’s the perpetual pursuit of fulfilling our ideal selves that grants us happiness, regardless of superficial pleasures or pain, regardless of positive or negative emotions. . . .
And this is the reason that trying to be happy inevitably will make you unhappy. Because to try to be happy implies that you are not already inhabiting your ideal self, you are not aligned with the qualities of who you wish to be. . . .
. . . Imagine who you want to be and then step towards it. Dream big and then do something. Anything. The simple act of moving at all will change how you feel about the entire process and serve to inspire you further.