I think maybe the secret to true happiness, true *delight,* really, is a savvy combination of low expectations and ever-renewing hope.
It's that last part that's the hardest. Well, they're both hard, both a balance that, for most of us, is easily upset. But it's having enough faith to know that hope is a renewing and renewable resource--a spring untouched by drought, by self-pity, by discouragement.
I don't have an answer for this, obviously, but sometimes just putting it out there is enough to unstopper the spring, assure the course by revisiting the source.