The Universe has about a billion galaxies, with about a billion stars in each galaxy.  That means that planet Earth is a tiny speck in an infinite ocean of space and energy.  Earth is like a small airport for souls, with thousands of arrivals and departures every hour.  In the short time between when a soul arrives and departs on airport Earth, there is a game humans play.  This game they play is called, "Life".  It has various rules and goals just like any other game.
Based on the millions of people who have had near death experiences and live to tell about it, certain assumptions can be made from what they report.   First, there is a Higher Power of some kind that truly cares about the souls that visit Earth.  Second, this Higher Power seems to ask all those who are dying the same basic two questions.  The first question is, "What did you learn about finding peace and love in your life?"  Followed by, "What did you contribute to the good of the world?"  Since a wide variety of people from many different cultures report they got asked these two questions at death, we can safely assume that the Higher Power is interested in our spiritual development and how we meaningfully go about our lives. 
Then there are the rules and one in particular.  This rule in the game of life is about finding out what we must do to experience winning.  Winning is defined as the ability to consistently feel deep levels of peace, happiness and love.  The second aspect of "winning" is to take the peace, love and happiness one feels, and live in such a way that we contribute to other's peace, love and happiness.  With such a clearly defined goal, it would seem that it would be easy for us souls to live in such a way as to find and explore deep levels of peace, love and happiness.  This is not the case.
There are many obstacles on the way toward each soul's desired destination.  Each of us is brought up in a unique family and cultural situation.  Our family and culture effectively hypnotize our young souls to completely believe things that are not true, thereby putting us at odds with reality.   For example, in our culture, we are taught to believe that more money or the right person will lead to lasting happiness.  Such cultural conditioning causes us all to spend lots of energy looking for peace, love and happiness where is not located.  Many have heard the Kingdom of Heaven is within, yet our early conditioning guides most of our behavior.
Another obstacle to winning in life (finding lasting peace, love and happiness) is the fact that our minds are almost totally out of control and they never shut up.  Most people are unaware of this and will actually get defensive if they are informed about this obvious condition.  However since most people have almost no control over their minds, they are run by their worries and problems and constantly question what's wrong with them and their lives.  Further, most have no training in how to control their own mind, so they can do little or nothing about these circumstances.  What we are told and believe will "cure" our lack of peace is one simple lie.  We are told that, "IF WE COULD SIMPLY CONTROL MORE OF THE EVENTS AND PEOPLE IN OUR LIFE TO BE THE WAY WE WANT THEM TO BE, WE WOULD ACHIEVE LASTING HAPPINESS. 
Sometimes when things go the way we want, we do feel good for a brief period of time.  This momentary feeling good gets us hooked on the process.  The truth is that people who have the most control, like Bill Gates or President Obama, are not any happier than the rest of us.  Control simply does not lead to lasting happiness.  Many people don't see this obvious situation because they get lost in their mental drama of blame, denial and distraction.  With blame people see the "problem" as being in the world or with someone else and therefore feel helpless to change their circumstances.  They feel like powerless victims.  In denial, people refuse to even see they have a problem (they are not winning), and do nothing to move closer to the goals of peace, love and happiness.  With distractions (TV, Web, drugs, alcohol, eating, gambling, etc.), people are too busy to even explore their underlying problems.
The most efficient means to winning (finding lasting happiness) is to tune into the moment where peace, love and happiness exist.  Our minds are like dish networks.  There are a seemingly endless number of stations and sites to tune into.  Some offer beautiful movies and music, others offer noise and boredom.  Our mission, should we decide to accept it, is to learn methods of tuning into ways of being that uplift and inspire us.  There are many methods for tuning in such as: mindfulness, meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi, being in nature, feeling grateful, exercise, and other practices.  Once the person learns to tap into their inner resources they liberate themselves to feel the peace, love and happiness they seek.   
This post was originally written a number of years ago as a handout for a class taught by Jonathan Robinson.  Jonathan is an excellent teacher and speaker.  I edited and updated this so you might benefit from the wisdom of this teaching story.