One day, I realized the material things I desired—even if I got every single one of them—weren’t guaranteed to bring me happiness, and that I desired these things because I thought they would make me happy.
And then I realized my feelings were like muscles. How even though I couldn’t stretch anger into joy, I could massage it into something looser—boredom or apathy—and work my way up from there. I could distract my negativity with appreciation of something I had no opinion about: the color of my floor or the hum of the fan.
And then I realized happiness wasn’t a function of my material achievements, it was a function of my gradual focus.
(Ironically, the more positive my focus, the more positive things seem to happen to me, without me having to pay the price or exert massive amounts of effort.)