The author had me nodding my head (for the most part) until I got to No. 10. I believe that happiness is inextricably linked to living a life of gratitude. I have traveled quite a bit, to third world countries. I have seen an inordinate amount of human suffering. Because of that, I am grateful. I am grateful for all of the things that I have, and don't worry about the things that I do not have, because chances are excellent that they are things I don't truly need.
My own theory about happiness is that it is largely achieved by removing things from your life that make you unhappy. Sometimes, it's the small things, like decluttering, changing jobs/working less hours or living closer to your workplace. Other times, the pursuit of happiness demands a major upheaval, like getting out of a bad marriage. Any situation that detracts from your quality of life is a deterrent to happiness.
I don't agree with their idea of happiness. When I was in my darkest times I would have moments of "enlightenment" where I saw what I thought was some kind of Divine order to everything that was happening. The problem was that that Divine order dictated that I experience some really awful things. As I'm healing, the sense of Divine order has faded as well. I feel like it was a sort of instinctual coping method designed to help me survive through the things I was facing.
I would say happiness comes with being okay with yourself the way you are. My experience suggests that when you feel that way, you tend to naturally have more success in all the other areas they mentioned as well. It's sort of a circular path: happiness breeds success which breeds happiness which breeds success....
On the other hand, you can be caught in an opposite pattern as well where you aren't okay with yourself and then success doesn't make you feel happy and so you tend to have less success and subsequently less happiness over time.
I like this article. It says a lot to me about being aware of what we attach our happiness to, and that these things can be disappointing if we don't attain or sustain them. Thus all those things have conditions, when the only thing we can rely on is being open in the moment... It doesn't say that we shouldn't go to those other places -- being human, we can't avoid them -- or that the challenge is to only be in enlightenment -- gosh, if that was the "goal" it would be just as problematic as trying to attain the other nine... but to just be aware of whatever is present.
Interesting. Lickerman implies by his choice that the world of "Learning" is best and describes it as, "Learning: The world of mastery. In this world, you feel a relentless drive to learn and accomplish something that creates value and meaning. The delusion comes when you think happiness comes only through accomplishment." That is similar to the definition of happiness that I use, "Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values." (Ayn Rand).