"But what happiness is? It's the moment before you need more happiness." —Don Draper
Happiness is fleeting.
Society places too much importance on money, love, fame, sex, and above all else... happiness. These should all be a byproduct of The Process rather than as the goal.
The high of happiness.
Making happiness the goal is dangerous, because a lack thereof creates a void.
Social media makes this void so much worse. Every post is someone much happier than I am right in this moment. But why do people post these for the world to see? They're in danger of running out of happiness—they need another hit.
Instead, seek contentment—is what I'm doing fulfilling? Contentment—being fully engaged and satisfied—is very different from being happy.
To me, contentment comes with a sense of calm. Contentment is the freedom to look forward and let go of the past. It's a state of flow, or being 'in the zone.'
Contentment is a binary. Unlike happiness, you don't cling to contentment or want more—it's not a high you crave. You can't overdose on being at ease.
The binary nature of contentment.
The feeling of being content is binary—it's there or it's not.
Once you pass a threshold of stress, you lose the sensation of being content. You can remove stressors (self-induced or in the form of Life Taxes) actively to dip back below the threshold.