We are all guilty of comparing our lives to others'. It probably started in pre-historic times with who had the best cave painting. When I was a kid growing up in the U.S., it was called "keeping up with the Joneses," whoever they were.
Connecting with people, having an impact, even a small one, makes me happy at work. Try it. The next time you are in a seminar or workshop or some other similar situation, try to learn everyone's name before you go.
Over the years, I've realized that I admire a lot of people I work with. Something intrigues me about a person, and as we spend more time together I often find that the initial attraction turns to admiration. I turn into a groupie.
But what the authors of The Levity Effect mean by "levity" is really a sense of lightness. It's less about being funny and more about being able to have fun and see the humorous side of everyday situations -- especially difficult situations.