This is something I came up with that I'd like your thoughts on - my secret formula for happiness. I thought of it while driving my daughter to her first day in college, which is a great time for introspection.
It goes like this:
Happiness = Reality/Expectations
It's not so profound. It's very simple. But it does put a fine point on it. If your expectations don't match up with actuality, you're going to be disappointed. If reality exceeds your expectations, this generally leads to good things.
Disappointment is usually caused by thinking too much of something. This is really common during the holidays, when our expectations can get jacked up beyond possibility. Like kids under a Christmas tree looking for a pony.
This formula might help your approach. It's helped mine. And the ponies are still out there.