Does anyone in the "developed world" have a true understanding of the concept of a 'need'?
There is so much unhappiness, because people WANT what they do not have. The problem is that they lie to themselves and say that they NEED something.
Let me cut right to it. If you are totally alone, destitute, with no hope of improvement... you can be happy. If you choose to be. Stop looking at others as some kind of ridiculous, masochistic benchmark of happiness. A degree to prove your intellect to others? Money? IMHO, most folks NEED a challenge, a purpose and a path. Not a destination.
And you sure in the hec don't need a 'thing'. Phone, car, big house? No. You need to be dry, warm and fed. You need physical and intellectual stimulation. You can get that by reading a book. Talking to others, over a coffee (one that you brewed yourself). An occasional, torrid love affair as opposed to constant, meaningless hook-ups. Walk and observe the beauty around you. Appreciate what is already there before cramming more stuff into your life. Try "Like" ing that.
Daniel Tosh said it best:
"People getting plastic surgery, for self-improvement? I challenge you to go to any Third-World country, not a 'boob-job' in the bunch. Yet, somehow, they find happiness. How boring is that?"
The only "need" most folks have is to evaluate how polluted their lives have become with "wants".