So many people want to get everything out of life, but for what? Is if for the optimal personal enjoyment? Is it to leave a great legacy. The reality is often we want to live life for all its worth for ourselves. Two thoughts come to mind when I think about the state of American society and the way we live. First, "If it feels good do it." the second thanks to Cheryl Crow, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad." These two thought patterns can lead us to a very dangerous place.
Paul addresses this line of thought without even knowing it. A person reaps what they sow. If you live for yourself, that is all you will have. If you live for the Kingdom of God that is what you will have. The terms Paul uses is sinful nature, and the Spirit. When we live for ourselves we are living out of the sinful nature. When we live for the kingdom, we are living by the Spirit.
I have not traveled this journey as long as others, one thing I have learned so far is happiness and life by the Spirit are not always connected. There are actions, and situations the Spirit offers to us that are not pleasant or happy, yet they are still exactly what God would have us do. I have heard people say God would never call us to do something we do not want to do. This is a load of crap informed by the above thoughts regarding happiness.
Follow God, living by the Spirit is hard work. Along the way we get glimpses of what our perseverance will bring about. Another way to thing about this is our effort by the Spirit brings the hope of what God is doing in all of creation, ourselves included.