I know a guy who has hated his job since at least 2012 and as a bonus he gets to go “home” to where his 70-year-old diabetic dictator of a mother in-law also lives. Basically his life is comprised of mostly punishment but he tries to convince himself and others that there is happiness in hell. His evaluation of happiness is not based on the general feeling that occupies his mind but instead is calculated based on how well his life is aligned with what culture typically sees as happiness. Any part that falls short on the balance sheet is made up with a contribution of ego.
Satisfaction and misery can dance together as long as the mind decides it’s an acceptable place to be. There’s nothing joyful about putting on a vest of dynamite and blowing yourself up but if your beliefs decide that it’s worth it then it’s satisfactory. But you didn’t die a happy person. Maybe the 63 virgins will make up for it.
The illusion of happiness has always been the idea of having a story to tell that will garner admiration or at least satisfaction from others. Often it’s not happiness that we strive for but the absence of social embarrassment which will give us a passing grade of acceptance.
We want to believe we’re living for ourselves and our happiness but we are perpetually living for others because that’s what the primitive wiring programs us to do. It also tells us to tell others to do what we do regardless of how unpleasant of an existence it is.