Here are a few studies about the nature of happiness.
This first set, Nic Marks, has presented these on various Occasions. They were part of a research mission put on by Foresight, a science based branch of the UK Government.
Five Actions toward Becoming Happier
1. Connect: Social Relationships
2. Be active: Be outside, move
3. Take notice: Be aware of surroundings, the seasons, etc.. Mindfulness, Cognitive behavioral therapy.
4. Keep learning: Throughout the whole lifetime, learning anything, curiosity based, not just knowledge.
5. Give: Reward Mechanism in the brain: Generosity and altruism
The point he makes here is that given our means, these actions cost very little of our means. They are are not going to cost us the earth.
David Brooks and Human Capital: not grades, things we dont have words for:
1. Mindsight, the ability to learn from other peoples minds, downloading reality.
2. Equipoise the ability to have serenity to read the biases and failures in own mind.
3. Epistemological Modesty, open minded in the face of ambiguity, able to adjust strength of the conclusion to strength of the evidence, curious.
4. Metus, street smarts, greek word, meaning sensitivity to physical environment, ability to pick out patterns in environment, derive a gist.
5. Sympathy the ability to work within groups: groups are smarter than individuals,
effectiveness is based on ability to communicate, not iq.
Conscious mind craves success, and prestige, the unconscious, those moments of transcendence, when we are lost in a challenge or task.