I'm sending prezzies out today for the winners of the first Pay it Forward giveaway...! As I wrapped their presents, I was reminded of The Happiness Project and Gretchen's Second Splendid Truth:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

The first part of this truthy statement isn't new to me... of course it feels great to make other people happy. The second part of this statement is the insight, the good stuff. When you're happy yourself, your happiness becomes contagious. If you're in a good mood, you spread those good feelings to everyone around you... even if you don't directly interact with them, you're a positive presence in the world.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the very simple idea that all the sorrow and trouble in the world is caused by unhappy people. I know when I'm in a bad mood, everyone around me sure knows it... I have a horrible poker face. When I'm unhappy it's usually because I'm hangry (hungry + angry) and simply require a sandwich or a smoothie. But in that hour or so of unhappiness, my mood brings a cloud over those around me, usually Kevin (sorry, you). Even if I don't say anything or pick a fight, he can tell. Our interactions will no longer be carefree and playful, but tense and frustrating.

Making an effort to be happy is, therefore, not only something I want to do for myself but it's something that I want to do for everyone around me... because, as Elizabeth Gilbert concludes, being happy is a generous gift to the world.

Here's to being happy today... and not getting the hangries. Maybe I should put an emergency granola bar in my purse... Oh and for those of you who won the Pay it Forward giveaway, there's a little extra happiness coming your way.

image one | image two taken by artsocial