It's all about the happiness.
If your biggest desire is a good cup of coffee life will accommodate you pretty well. If you must have a jet and a super model spouse and an island then desire might bitch slap you until you die.
In a post I put up several weeks ago I mentioned the Ruby Slippers. At our core we are not photographers we're artists who've chosen, for now, to express ourselves with photographs. The power comes from within. Even if the media changes the art doesn't. We just adapt to the new media. We've had the power all along. We just need to click our heals together and stop listening to the man behind the curtain. We need to stop being paralyzed by the wicked witch of the west. We need to stop looking for outside help and switch on that power.
I talk a lot about equipment but this whole game is really about seeing and sharing. The equipment can make barriers. The desire for equipment can make more barriers. Just the right equipment can be transparent. I'm migrating toward cheaper and cheaper gear because I believe more and more in my own power and less in the magic of the tool. It's like learning to swim and slowly getting rid of the water wings.
The only real lessons I've ever learned are these: Kindness matters. Happiness comes from within.
Someone posted yesterday that even though I had a financially sucky year in 2009 that I was so optimistic. Having made less money in 2009 sure gave me back a lot of my own time. And I spent it in the pursuit of happiness. Nice bargain, yes?
Edit: Adding gear note: Joe's coffee shop on South Congress Ave. A small Mocha with whole milk. Oh, the camera? That's an EP2 with an old 38mm 1.8 Pen F (film) lens from the late 1960's.