I just came across this article: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/mar/07030701.html
It talks about a study about the impact of materialism on marital satisfaction. The findings are not surprising (to me): materialistic couples are more likely to have marriage problems.
Like everything else, it’s not really how much you have that makes you happy or unhappy, it’s how much you think you’re *entitled* to have, it’s what you expect. If you don’t have high expectations, you’re happier.
We’re probably all happier people if we don’t get to compare with other people, or our old selves. Why do you think you’re entitled to something? It’s because you see that’s what people have and you don’t. And then you started thinking WHY other people have certain things but you don’t. And that’s how the "ox horn" gets developed.
So the key to happiness is to adjust the notion of what you think you’re entitled to. Given everything I have, I don’t see HOW I can be unhappy.