While happiness is defined by the individual, I've always felt it foolish to declare that nothing can be learned from observing the happiness of others. In our day-to-day lives it is easy to miss the forest for the trees and look over some of the smaller, simpler things that can disproportionally affect our happiness levels.
National surveys find that when someone claims to have 5 or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60 percent more likely to say that they are ‘very happy’. Excerpt from the book Finding Flow.
True friends really are worth their weight in gold. Check in regularly with close friends (around every two weeks).
This article is by Adam Pisoni, co-founder and former CTO of Yammer. He is also a founder of Responsive.org, a new movement dedicated to helping companies become more adaptive and empowering. He recently visited General Stanley McChrystal's consultancy CrossLead to see how he helps companies become more effective.