In his 2008 book, “Gross National Happiness,” Dr. Brooks argues that what’s crucial to well-being is not how cheerful you feel, not how much money you make, but rather the meaning you find in life and your sense of “earned success” — the belief that you have created value in your life or others’ lives.
“People find meaning in providing unconditional love for children,” writes Dr. Brooks…“Paradoxically, your happiness is raised by the very fact that you are willing to have your happiness lowered through years of dirty diapers, tantrums and backtalk. Willingness to accept unhappiness from children is a source of happiness.”
Elizabeth Kolbert asks, What can policymakers learn from happiness research? in a New Yorker book review. A quick tease:
[T]he relationship between money and well-being turns out to be a lot less straightforward than is generally assumed.
How happy are you? Dr. Martin Seligman wants to know. Check out authentichappiness.com for a big collection of questionnaires (registration required).