This conversation took place 7 years ago, and I still think about it from time to time, because it made me wonder whether my value system is set up in the best way it could be.
Happiness is a supremely important goal, in my opinion, because from that state everything else flows easily. I don't mean the kind of giddy, effusive happiness that people might feel on winning the lottery or finding a long-lost friend or relative - just the underlying, day-to-day sort that comes from contentment.
Happy people tend to be relaxed and more focused on doing what they want to do and doing it well, which usually has good results for them and for anyone else involved. Happy people are more interested in the world around them and therefore in learning. Thinking and learning are very important goals because they enable us to make good decisions and to progress, but an underlying state of happiness is necessary to enable all of that to take place.
Sometimes I'm so sure about these things, then other times I wonder if I'm wrong.