The problem is Aristotle. Wait, don’t laugh. I’m serious. The old chap has forced into our collective consciousness, through the circular concept of his “eudaimonia”, the notion that happiness must be the ultimate aim of all that is worthwhile. That’s nonsense.
There are many pursuits that are their own ultimate ends, and many of these pursuits are worthy in their own right.
Happiness must be sought in its own lane. The notion that happiness is some pot of gold at the end of the arc is bunk. Happiness is a compartment. And life has many compartments.
Once you understand this everything becomes clear. You learn to apportion pieces of your life properly. You learn to spare some time on happiness every now and then, but you move on, tending to the many plants in that vast garden of self discovery. You come to understand that happiness is seasoning. Not some grand clue to human purpose. Not some hidden gem that once you discover everything falls into place, and the true path illuminated, all that really matter lining up like doric columns towards the true dome of self-actualisation, every extraneous want and need having fallen by the wayside.
This is a lie. Happiness is one thing among many that makes humankind complete. Spend some time on it. Harvest some of it. Every now and then. It will, however, never satiate your total being. However much you prize and honour it by screening all that you do according to the degree something promises to yield happiness at the end of the arc. Happiness is overrated.