I don't think happiness is the metric I should be optimizing for in life. Instead, I believe a much better gradient to climb would be that of fulfillment. Looking back at the things I'm most glad I did, I was often stressed out and had to work very hard. Very rarely was I happy while doing said things, but in retrospect they brought me the most joy. During YC, my life consisted of sitting in front of my laptop writing code for hours until the sun would pour into the living room every morning. I rarely left the apartment unless it was to buy toilet paper, and I was stressed and hyper-aware of all the bugs I had to fix.
It made sense that day-to-day I wasn't especially happy, however ad-hoc it was a fulfilling experience. If I could go back and relive those rewarding 3 months over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.