In my research I have found that the American work ethic is based on the Puritan work ethic which is hard work gives us salvation. I do agree that hard work is good for us but we have mutated our lifestyles to a point that we think we need to work hard for crap we do not need, just because everybody else is doing it, and for an ever increasing level of comfort. This modern view of work has left something missing. We try to fill that missing piece with fun things but not things that will bring us happiness. Heck, we do not even know what happiness is anymore. So we work to buy fun things and never make any headway to finding fulfillment. It is a viscous cycle. The ironic part of all this is that the things that will make you happy do not cost money. Love, friendship, family, communication, and meaningful work do not cost a thing. If you are willing to put that American work ethic into action here are a few simple steps to move forward to reach the life that you love.
Clearly define your ideal life
Clearly define your current life
Pick 1 item in your ideal life that is the easiest to obtain
Go do it
Repeat the cycle on your list