I'm not a believer in the idea that the simple inertia of life will deliver you from unhappiness to some glorious utopia where everything is awesome. I'm not sure I've ever believed that, but I can look at how I've behaved at different times over the years, and whether or not I believed in what I was doing, that's what I was doing.
Something that's occupied my mind a bit more than usual lately is the value of consistency. In any given situation, I have any given number of options for how to act, not act, whatever. And I can typically make a case for any number of those actions by appealing to different parts of myself. My desire to get laid might want to hit on that woman. My desire to be seen as a gentleman might see that as uncouth, and would prefer to sit back and nurse a drink until she notices me. My desire to one day be known as a great writer might want to get the hell out of the bar, go home, and write something, anything, to keep me inching toward my 10,000 hours.
The challenge is that these forces and desires pull me in different directions that often impede each other - a more extreme kind of opportunity cost. A consistent vision and drive is valuable in situations like this - a compass you can always refer back to to judge the wisdom or folly of a given action. Even though I disagree with most religions, I feel like I get why they appeal to people for the first time in my life. Without clear aims, progress in one area can undermine another and you don't make much forward progress for the effort you're putting into your life, and religions provide those rulesets (even if the endgame is typically bullshit).
This isn't anything I've finalized or decided on, and I'm not even sure if it's something I'll publicize when it's done because the only person who'll hold me to account on it is me, but it's something I'm working on, and I feel really good about it.