“One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows of the necessary ingredients of happiness—simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain.”
-- George Sand
At one level, this seems right to me. I've been on the other side of each of these things, and I know this leads to unhappiness. But is the opposite real happiness? More later.