Hi Sarah! To preface what I am about to say, I must say that I agree with what you have said for the general public. As a larger society and the American stereotype, we seem to have gone straight for consumerism. But the cause (which is not the topic of this response) is that our anscestors have typically wanted more success for their descendents, not by nihilism as some others in the class say. How that is measured has changed over time, but it is typically monetary. And this concept is not new; consider the myth of King Midas, whose obesession with gold led to his own demise. He was a consumer to the point of death.
Now consider something totally different: we can pinpoint pockets of society where they do pursue the “highest good”, something that is good for both its consequences and its own sake. In my opinion, one example is the musical community. We are constantly putting ourselves through physical, mental, and emotional stress for something greater. How do we turn out in the end? We turn out happy. We may see something that can help us to better materially, but it is (hopefully) because we were the ones making music the most passionately and greatly so that we could stand out from everyone else. If we look at a situation of playing with a good orchestra or a bad orchestra and were told to play in one or the other, I imagine that most would choose the good orchestra. It would pay more (consequence), but we would also be able to better enjoy what we do- make music for the sake of making music.
Another thing that I argue is that we are not only going towards consequence-oriented actions, but also doing things because we do them for their own sake. One example could be hiking. Going from personal experience, I went on a backpakcing trip to get experience of doing such a trip, but I would go on a trip to go on the trip. Yes, it would gratify a want to backpack more, but I would not do it for any consequence that could come from it. I would do it for its own sake.