James, you rock !
The other way to look at this is that happiness is an experience on the inside, while reality is what happens in the material world. For happiness to be permanent and everlasting, it has to be independent of the outside reality.
From a practical perspective, this sounds crazy and seems almost impossible to achieve, but it may well be the more sustainable path.
Learning to be in the present moment, being conscious of improving every day on things that you love to do, being constantly aware of the ego and how it rears its head, and not over-thinking anything are all strategies that can really help.
The more we can keep our happiness separate from material reality, the more joyful we can be. Or our minds will play tricks on on how our reality can be better, or how some one else’s reality is better than ours.