If we define "doing well" as having excess income and wealth to spend on gratification, we have defined the wellspring of discontent.
There is an old and bitter maxim that describes the missionaries who sailed to Hawaii in the early-1800s: "They came to do good and stayed to do well." Is it easier to "get rich" than to do good? Does "doing well" create fulfillment or just an ephemeral gratification? Is it possible to "do good" and "do well" at the same time, or is the "to get rich is glorious," wealth-is-good mindset a self-serving illusion?
These questions help me crystallize one purpose of my work on the blog and in my books, which is to re-integrate meaning, work, happiness and our marketing-consumerist culture and economy. In general, we assume (with much nudging) that wealth and happiness are tightly correlated, i.e. getting rich will deliver greater happiness just as a matter of causality. We are also pounded to believe that doing well will magically create a greater good--something every hedge fund manager pulling down $600 million annually wants to believe.
Yet studies find the correlation of wealth to happiness to be far weaker than generally assumed. ...