Pursue happiness; elude contentment. --Chinese proverb.
How does one prevent our inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness from dominating and eventually destroying any chance at contentment in life? The liberty to pursue happiness is essential to human dignity, yet without contentment, there is no sense of fulfillment in life.
(1) Meditate on the concept of "enough". Your enough will differ from someone else's enough, but it's enough for you.
(2) Don't live in the house the Jack built. Live in your own house and be careful who builds it. Jack may or may not be a good guy or a good builder, but his standards and judgments and expectations will be out of whack because the level he uses is bent.
(3) There are higher, more comprehensive, more fulfilling goals in life than mere happiness. Perhaps happiness is a consequence, more of a side-effect, than an end purpose?
1 Corinthians 6.12, 10.23 (KJV)
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. ...All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
Hebrews 11.10 (KJV)
For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Philippians 4.11-12 (KJV)
Not that I speak in respect of want (poverty): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, (in that state) to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.