I just finished reading "Eat, Love, Pray" and I would recommend it to anyone. Loved it! It's about the author's desire to find out who she is (at the age of 35) and she travels to three different countries for three different reasons.
I love this book because of the different remarks she had on life and what gives it meaning. While I didn't agree with some of her thoughts, I was very impressed by others. This one, on happiness, stuck out to me.
"...People universally think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And, once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."
I've been talking to a lot of people recently about the word "happiness" and what happiness really is. It's different for everyone, but I think Elizabeth Gilbert nailed an important point. I make my own happiness and I am in charge of maintaining it. Life happens. Some good, some bad, but it's all in maintaining the happiness I know I have felt at times when it's hard to do so. That's one of my new quests in life!