I have always maintained that the "secret" of happiness is to accomplish a series of very difficult (but achievable) goals. Not that i am a particularly happy/unhappy person.
Winning a zillion in a lottery would (i assume) make you less happy than building a zillion dollar empire from the 'ground up'.
Reading of Schopenhauer (aka "The Buddah of Frankfurt") paraphrasing Buddah, i am told this is actually the recipe for UNHAPPINESS! Apparently, true happiness occurs when you stop wanting anything- (even happiness?).
Unfortunately, our capitalist society (imperfect as it may be) relies upon individual greed. One needs to want in order to get out of bed in the morning, work like a dog, pay taxes, buy a plasma screen- at least until we achieve retirement nirvana.
Advertising reminds us of the things we forgot we wanted. The thing that emerges from this greed is a secular, modern, capitalist state- like a beautifully fragrant flower growing out from a cow-pat.
Communism seemed to rely on the miscalculation that it's citizens (victims) were instrinsically altruistic. It's interesting to note that such lofty axioms resulted in a police state!
Here comes a politically incorrect bit. Many indigenous Australians live in remote communities. Too often, they live a life of deprivation- with squalor, violence, child abuse, alcoholism and high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, chronic unemployment and welfare dependence-and with life expectancies equivalent to the worst parts of the developing world.
They live in a bizarro parallel world to our own. They do not get up at 6am to go to work to save up for the big family ski trip to Aspen, or the new boat or beachouse, or the next investment property. They have been 'opted out'... but they have not achieved Nirvana. My solution: more advertising.