We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I think very few people think of happiness this way and it is so true. Dennis Prager is one of the great philosophers of our time. I recommend his book "Think a Second Time". He attacks a score of topics from an angle that few consider but by doing so, illuminates them so they become very clear.
I s'pose I could quibble with some of what he said - I think there is more to this than mere altruism, for example - but he has a valid point. I come from a well-known city on the Gulf Coast whose residents, for the very most part, have made the choice to have culture of happiness. There is a radical mutuality to most relationships there such that one, as new to the neighborhood, is treated with a warm familiarity that I have only seen offered to the most favored close relatives elsewhere. On the whole, they are more healthy physically and mentally for it, and I miss them keenly. I hope to return there some day.
An insecure and very miserable boss I once had was fond of saying, "You play the hand you're dealt," all the while dealing from the bottom of the deck toward his most competent and professional staff. I, for my part, responded by taking the advice of an old sailing instructor, "The time to shorten sail is when you first wonder whether you should." I weathered that storm eventually; and based on that would offer you something of a corollary Pres. Lincoln's maxim, "Decide to be as happy as you can be when the circumstances are bad."
Just as your mind can affect your body, your body can affect your mind. The easiest way? Conscious breathing. It occupies your mind while you are doing it and relaxes stress if only for a little while.