Okay, I gotta say it. Happiness does not happen to people because they are “lucky” or “blessed.” It does not happen because they came upon an incredible stroke of luck.

Happiness comes to those who decide they want it. And it comes because they set their intention on what they want and then work their tails off to make their dream a reality.

This includes every single person who walks on the earth, not merely a chosen few who got lucky–who have money, connections, or talents.

The question is simply: what does happiness mean for you?

When we started talking about our family sabbatical, a few people gave us the “must be nice” vibe. Don’t get me wrong–we’ve had some pretty incredible supporters.

But we’ve also had some folks who seem to get their knickers in a bunch that we’re doing something they perceive themselves as never being able to do. But the thing they’re not realizing is: maybe long-term travel is not what they’ve been working toward for the last ten years, as it was for us.

Long ago, we set our intention on following our dreams and those dreams have always been travel, spending excessive amounts of time with our kids and each other, writing for me, and for Kevin, running a strong and profitable business.

The people who give us the “it must be nice” grimace, implying we must have gotten something we didn’t deserve, drive me crazy. It feels terrible to be judged. I’ve learned to embrace the people who lift me up and help me realize my dreams, while I end up avoiding those people who try to shrivel me with their negativity.

I’ve been reading The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. Reading and contemplating works like this combined with my time away from the normal way of things have given me a unique perspective on how to find one’s fortune.

I really don’t believe that good fortune comes to only those people who are special or who got really lucky in life. When people say I got lucky, I think of all the years I studied to get my advanced degrees, all the years I worked at my marriage and motherhood and other relationships, and all the times I said no to fine material possessions so I could spend the money on things I really wanted (i.e., travel and experiences).

The way forward for me has become a path of love, where I love people no matter what they think about me.

But I also love myself enough to not let the naysayers rent space in my head.

I met so many people on the road–and connected with so many online who are traveling with their families or otherwise living their dreams–who didn’t necessarily have a lot of money, a lot of courage, or a lot of support when they set out to live an abundant, intentional life.

In the end, happiness comes to those who decide they want it.

This includes every single person who decides to think positively and realize the universe offers limitless possibilities for all of us.

Read: The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way, by Wayne W. Dyer