Consistency is nothing more or less than learning the art of being happy. Unfortunately, society has conditioned us to believe that happiness comes from something outside of ourselves: The right house, or the right car, or the right clothes, or the right spouse, or the right job. But what if happiness came from somewhere else?

What if we could learn to create our own happiness from within ourselves? If happiness comes from the things we own, or from other people, or from our life circumstances, then it can be taken away. But if happiness comes from within, nobody can ever take it away from us unless we choose to let them.

Happiness is a choice, not a thing. Happiness is a decision, not a destination. It is internally driven. It is not something that happens to us. It is something we make happen. We make happiness happen by looking at every situation in our lives and finding something good in it.

Remember Tom Sawyer and the picket fence? He eventually chose to see painting the fence as a fun adventure instead of a chore. We can turn most of the chores in our lives into happy experiences merely by changing the way we think about these events, because we’re in control of our own emotional states.
The way to choose to be happy, no matter what the circumstances, is to turn within instead of looking without. True happiness is internally motivated and not externally motivated. This means that opportunities for happiness come from deep within ourselves and not from the events that happen in our lives.

A secondary emotion is the ‘feeling after the feeling,’ in that it is the emotional reaction we have to our feelings. For example, if I am feeling sad, and I then respond to this sadness by feeling guilty for feeling sad, the sadness is the primary emotion and the guilt is the secondary emotion.

What if, instead of responding to the sadness with guilt, I consciously chose to respond to it with happiness? This may sound difficult, but with practice it is possible. The more we practice this skill, the easier it gets.

It helps to remember that happiness doesn’t come from our circumstances. It comes from within us. The more we practice changing our secondary emotions by choosing to focus on happiness, the more consistent we will become in managing our moods.