“For a civilisation so fixated on achieving happiness, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task. One of the best-known general findings of the ‘science of happiness’ has been the discovery that the countless advantages of modern life have done so little to life our collective mood. The awkward truth seems to be that increased economic growth does not necessarily make for happier societies, just as increased personal income, above a certain basic level, doesn’t make for happier people. Nor does better education, at least according to some studies. Nor does an increased choice of consumer products. Nor do bigger and fancier homes, which instead seem mainly to provide the privilege of more space in which to feel gloomy.
Perhaps you don’t need telling that self-help books, the modern-day apotheosis of the quest for happiness, are among the things that fail to make us happy.”
— Oliver Burkeman (“The Antidote: Happiness for People Can’t Stand Positive Thinking”)