Prof Ruut Veenhoven, Director of the Database and Emeritus professor of social conditions for human happiness at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, says his own study found a slight negative correlation between the number of times people in a study spontaneously mentioned "goals" and their happiness.
Ruut Veenhoven current research are on subjective quality of life. Major publications are: ´Conditions of happiness´ (1984), ´Happiness in nations´ (1993), ´The four qualities of life´ (2000) and ´Greater happiness for a greater number: Is that possible and desirable?´ (2010). Veenhoven also published on abortion, love, marriage and parenthood. He is also director of the World Database of Happiness and founding editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies.
His studies demostrate that although there is some positive correlation between seeing meaning in life and being happy, this is not a necessary condition for happiness. In fact, studies suggest leading an active life has the strongest correlation with happiness.
"In order to lead a happy life, a rewarding life, you need to be active," says Veenhoven. "So involvement is more important to happiness than knowing the why, why we are here."
According to the World Database of Happiness Top 10 happiest countries ranked in order of "satisfaction with life", according to the :