Research showed that:
- things do not always make us happy
- helping others makes it more “meaningful” whereas doing things for ourselves makes us more “happy”
Baumeister, R. F., Vohs, K. D., Aaker, J. L., & Garbinsky, E. N. (2013). Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(6), 505-516.
Three happy lives:
- The pleasant life
- The good life (engagement/flow)
- The meaningful life
There is also another interesting TED Talk on this topic.