There is no need to start happiness after 20 years. You can be happy right now, even when you are not a Partner or don’t drive a Porsche. Things change to easily. You can get sick. You can get fired. You can burn out (if you follow all these items I guess likeliness is low).
Until these bad things happen, just work as well as you can and have fun with doing it. No reason to look at the gains of the colleagues. No reason to think about the cool new position which you didn’t get.
After all, you will reach something. You’ll end up with nice memories, maybe a good position – and 20 excellent years. Every day is a good day.
Zen Monks are not to shy with their work too. They get up at 4am (sometimes earlier, sometimes later, depends on the convent) and start meditation and work (they even consider work meditation practice). They have stuff to do like cleaning the toilets. Or working in the garden. Or as a Tenzo, they cook. They do it with all the care they can get. What ever they do, they do it without suffering and they are (or should be) happy, because every second, even the second where they are cleaning toilets, is a second of their life.
Even pyramids get lost, after a long time. Do you know the names of the people who build up a pyramid? And if you do, is it important that you know? It’s not. Pyramids are there, or not. Nothing special.
From the The 10 rules of a Zen programmer. A post I’ve read many times as there are so many gems within it.