Modern life has been disconnected from the basic things that bring happiness and fulfillment for over 100 years now. This disconnection is at all levels: The food we eat does not create healthy bodies. Emotional relationships - especially in childhood - are not nourishing and safe. Few people have access to adequate education. Few learn how to manage their own energy. Few have genuine ways to be renewed in Spirit and connect to the unique purpose and gifts of their own Soul.
Stephen R. Covey places the roots of this in the Personality Ethic, and quotes Erich Fromm on its consequences: "Today, we come across an individual who behaves like an automaton, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be, whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replaced genuine laughter, and who's sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain. Two statements may be said concerning this individual. One is that he suffers from defects of spontaneity and individuality which may seem to be incurable. At the same time it may be said of him that he does not differ essentially from the millions of the rest of us who walk upon this earth." Erich Fromm wrote this over 30 years ago, probably over 50 years ago, and it seems to me that it is more and more true every decade.
The good news is that any individual who wants to recapture the essence of his Soul and the joy of life can do it. Fromm and Covey, and many other spiritual, psychological, and physical teachers affirm our innate ability to do this.