So, call me crazy, but I think this phrase is over used. When did happiness become our driving force, and not what is right and wrong; what will benefit us and others? Why do we focus our lives on an emotion that is so fleeting? As the saying goes, it is like trying to nail Jell-O on a tree.
I am saddened by those I watch around me making major life decisions over such fleeting emotions. I can't help but wonder if they really are happy, or if it a game of chasing your shadow and never being able to catch it. A dear friend of mine has no religion she associates herself with and her life focus is to be happy, and this is what she teaches her children as well. Sure, it sounds great, but is she happy? For the most part, it doesn't seem so. Study after study show that the happiest people are the ones who have a purpose and goal in their life. Many of those focus their purpose on their religion and doing right by their Creator.
While on the subject, it seems worthwhile to mention love marriages, or marrying someone because you love them. Now, don't get me wrong, I think married people should love each other, but if the number one reason two people get married is because they love each other, I think this sets the stage for a rocky marriage.
What is important then? Well, goals and aspirations for how they envision their life to be. They should have a common world view and outlook on how they want to live their lives. In my perspective, they should come together to focus their lives on their Creator and to work towards pleasing Him... a partnership in the "Great Work" of their lives.
The common process that people get married right now is to date for months before they bring up any important subjects like how to raise children, how many kids they want, where do they see themselves retiring, what role do they see their parents playing in their family, etc. By the time two people finally get to the questions that really matter, they are typically sleeping with each other, emotionally involved, and in too far for the break from an question answered wrong to not have an emotional toll. Why did we get away from focusing on the important questions, and just "have fun" and figure out if they are the right person along the way? Hasn't anyone stepped back, looked at the scenario, and figured out more harm than good comes out of casual dating?
But it's so much fun.
And that's the answer; why work towards what makes sense if that isn't the funnest thing in your list of options. You only live once, right? Who cares if you make the right decisions as long as you have fun and are "happy"...
Final thought: Happiness is a result, not a goal.