Nearly 100 years ago, Albert Einstein shared his theory of happiness with the world, stating: "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness."
Even still, only a third of today's Americans report feeling happy, according to the 2017 Harris Poll Survey of American Happiness.
But in a TED Talk held earlier this year, writer and positive psychology instructor at University of Pennsylvania Emily Esfahani Smith argued that despite our culture's obsession with the pursuit of personal happiness, understanding your meaning in life is the secret to your resilience and success.
"Many psychologists define happiness as a state of comfort and ease, feeling good in the moment. Meaning, though, is deeper," Smith said.
Citing psychologist Martin Seligman, she pointed out that "meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself and from developing the best within you."