What "meaning in life" means, by Eric Barker
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Meaning of Life
Meaning in life is NOT the same as happiness:
Our findings suggest that happiness is mainly about getting what one wants and needs, including from other people or even just by using money. In contrast, meaningfulness was linked to doing things that express and reflect the self, and in particular to doing positive things for others. Meaningful involvements increase one’s stress, worries, arguments, and anxiety, which reduce happiness. (Spending money to get things went with happiness, but managing money was linked to meaningfulness.) Happiness went with being a taker more than a giver, while meaningfulness was associated with being a giver more than a taker. Whereas happiness was focused on feeling good in the present, meaningfulness integrated past, present, and future, and it sometimes meant feeling bad. Past misfortunes reduce present happiness, but they are linked to higher meaningfulness — perhaps because people cope with them by finding meaning.
Happiness ABOUT your life is more important than happiness IN your life.
Eric Barker explains more:
I know it quotes proverbs, but I probably would have written it this way:
He who gets wisdom understands his own soul; He who cherishes love, prospers.
That is a vast improvement. Thank you Greg!