The TEDTalk 2004 video below by positive psychologist Martin Seligman is, by far, the best explanation of happiness in everyday language, but backed by science, that I have ever seen. Using what I’ve learned, I was able to rationalize why I’m generally such a happy camper despite not having some of the elements people deem to contribute most to happiness in life, like love from a partner, kids, even pets, pleasures from alcohol, drugs, gambling, even coffee, etc. For my own reference, I’ll summarize the video below before writing out my deductions that led to conclusions just mentioned about my life, but also reflect on the happiness and lifestyles content mentioned in the video from other developments in positive psychology since the video I have learned. I would highly recommend watching the video, though. Start from 2m 45s if you just want the core of what I am talking about as it’s a bit slow to start before it gets really fascinating!
This is my reference for the concept of character strengths, from the VIA Institute on Character website that has far more information. However, it doesn’t have everything I have here, and some content is not focused or organized as I have here that I prefer. The test to get your relative character strengths, that is how they stack up among each other rather than against anyone else’s results, is free to take on the VIA site.