Recently, a friend posted this article on Facebook. It was interesting timing because I'd been pondering some related concepts for a while. The article examines the relationship between being happy and leading a meaningful life. Utilizing social and psychological research, it identifies some interesting but probably not surprising conclusions.
First off, it notes that Amercans are actually happier than they've ever been; however, fewer people see themselves as leadering a purposeful, meaningful life. Perhaps, we spend too much time being happy and less time in the pursuit of happiness.
Leading a happy life, the psychologists found, is associated with being a "taker" while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a "giver."