To get happiness forget about it; then, with any luck, happiness will come as a by-product in pursuing meaningful activities and relationships. This adage is known as the paradox of happiness, but actually it contains a number of different paradoxes concerning aims, success, freedom, and attitudes. These paradoxes enhance our understanding of the complexity of happiness and its interaction with other values in good lives, that is, lives which are happy as well as morally decent, meaningful, and fulfilling. Yet, each paradox conveys a one-sided truth that needs to be balanced with others. Happiness, understood as subjective well-being, involves positively evaluating our lives and living with a sense of well-being. As such, it should not be confused with either pleasure or normative conceptions of “true” happiness.
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Martin, M.W. Paradoxes of happiness. J Happiness Stud 9, 171–184 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-007-9056-3