Importantly, to ascribe happiness in the well-being sense is to makea value judgment: namely, that the person has whatever it isthat benefits a person. If you and I and have different values, then we may well differ aboutwhich lives we consider happy. I might think Genghis Khan had a happylife, because I think what matters for well-being is getting what youwant; while you deny this because you think a life of evildoing,however “successful,” is sad and impoverished.
The discussion thus far has assumed that people can be wrong abouthow happy they are. Is this plausible? Some have argued that(sincerely) self-reported happiness cannot, even in principle, bemistaken. If you think you're happy, goes a common sentiment,then you are happy. This claim is not plausible on ahedonistic or emotional state view of happiness, since those theoriestake judgments of happiness to encompass not just how one is feeling atthe moment but also past states, and memories of those can obviously bespurious. Further, it has been argued that even judgments of how onefeels at the present moment may often be mistaken, particularlyregarding moods like anxiety.
Here is a link to Steven Reiss’s article, “Secrets of Happiness.”
Reiss then sums up his argument by saying that one can find happiness if they are: rich or poor, smart or dumb, athletic or not athletic, popular or unpopular. He says that wealthy people are not necessarily any happier, and poor people are not necessarily unhappy because anyone can be happy if they live life by their values.