An interesting connection I’ve seen the past few years traveling the world, is that those with the most self-discipline tend to have the most self-respect. This isn’t accurate 100% of the time, but generally the people that have control over themselves and the ability to skip momentary pleasures tend to feel a lot more positively about themselves.
The people that are able to delay gratification and strive to live up to the vision they have of themselves tend to be the happiest. This applies across cultures. As such, here’s my recommendation to maximize happiness over the course of your life.
Don’t try to become happy by stimulating yourself. Eating junk food, taking drugs, or watching porn aren’t going to make you happy in the long-term. Instead, cultivate discipline.
Do the difficult things you fear, or that require willpower. Attack the obstacles that stand between you and your goals. Over time you’ll become much happier as you come into alignment with the vision you once set for your life.