This factor is defined as our ability to feel content with ourselves, others and life in general. This is, essentially, the ability to feel satisfied with our life, enjoy others and have fun. In this context, happiness combines self-satisfaction, general contentment and the ability to enjoy life. Happiness involves the ability to enjoy various aspects of our life and life in general. Happy people often feel good and at ease in both work and leisure; they are able to “let their hair down” and enjoy the simple opportunities for having fun. This factor is associated with a general feeling of cheerfulness and enthusiasm.
While some theorists and researchers do not feel that happiness is part of the emotional-social intelligence construct, the ability to generate and maintain positive mood is important for self-motivation and serves to energize other EI factors (together with optimism and the drive component of self-actualization).
Happiness provides two basic functions in the realm of human performance. The first is motivational, and the second is barometric. The former helps enhance performance by motivating and energizing us, while the latter tells us how well we have performed and can lead to a general sense of well-being. Together with self-actualization and optimism, happiness generates the self-motivation and energy to drive other aspects of emotional-social intelligence. Once again, this is the trio that fuels emotional-social intelligence.
The inability to experience happiness and difficulties in generating positive affect in general are often indicative of dissatisfaction, discontent and depressive tendencies.