Daniel Kahneman summarizes decades of happiness research this way: “It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”
The above is a quote from a post titled, ‘Does Money Make you Unhappy?’ by Jonah Lehrer at Frontal Cortex. I recommend reading the entire post as well the articles/studies it cites.
Let me repeat: “Happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”
And that’s by Kahneman – an exceedingly smart psychologist and a leading researcher in the field of happiness; incidentally he has also won a Nobel Prize in Economics.
PS: I am planning a longer post on ‘Happiness’ – in which I hope to vaguely construct (with my usual pedestrian amateurish approach) a theoretical metric of happiness that combines ideas related to long-term contentment, short-lived excitement/fun, and ephemeral but spectacular moments of glory.