Before you try to look for happiness as everyone else does outside of yourself, stop and look inside first. The things we so hard strive to obtain in our relentless search for happiness, a new car, new home, new romantic partner, even a new job, are nothing but external objects which by themselves will not materialize our happiness. Before reaching out for those external targets you need to make sense of your internal life. As the old adage puts it, “Know Thyself”. This is the first requirement for happiness as it ensures you will find your calling in life and those activities, environments and people who will truly satisfy you and stimulate you.
The other fundamental requirement to achieve happiness is to overcome the excessive focus and concern about yourself, so that you can devote your time, work and effort to a cause beyond you and your immediate comfort; so that you can devote yourself to others. This commitment will develop your sense of compassion, remove the limitations of your ego and subsequently, make you realize you are not a separate being or entity with the world but an extension and therefore, a component of the world. It will be revealed you are a part that can function by itself but that eventually discovers being a part of something else larger, which in turn is part of a larger entity, and so on for ever.
By the way, the realization that we are connected to everyone and everything, applied to the dimension of the planet is the prerequisite to realistically attaining a permanent sustainable future on Earth. When we hurt a part of our bodies we immediately take care of it; we heal a wound or get medical assistance. Why? Because we believe and deeply feel the hurt area of our bodies is part of our being. In the same way, we protect and care for our loved ones, our possessions and anything else we consider ours.
At a subconscious level we feel everything that is ours is part or at least an extension of our beings. The day we can extend that same perception and emotion of being to the rest of the planet, we will have elevated human consciousness to the status of sustainability. The perception of reality and existence on Earth that will emerge from such consciousness will be equally sustainable. The current study of this mindset is called deep ecology.