How do people enjoy life while believing in determinism?

I suppose. It's the paradox of letting go of desire. How does one let go of desire if they have the desire to let go of desire? The answer is: by letting go of it.

It's like anxiety over thoughts. You think of stress and stress about what you think about. You stress over those thoughts. Then you stress over the thoughts about stressing over thoughts. Then the stress expands to thoughts about the stress over the thoughts about stressing over stressful thoughts. It becomes a vicious cycle. The answer isn't to think about stopping the stressful thoughts, thinking and effort will only make things worse. The answer is to simply stop thinking. (Now I'm getting distracted, I'll get to the point soon)

The point of losing desire is to remove the weight that the mind puts onto the body. It constraints us into doing things we normally wouldn't want to do. It frees us. Instead of becoming "I have to do this because I NEED to do this," we becomes "I have to do this because I WANT to do this." And by living in the way we want to instead of living in a way we fool ourselves into believing, we can enjoy the present.

We aren't upset of where we are because we've abandoned all desire. Goals become wants but never needs. If we fail, it's ok because the goal wasn't a desire, we can live without it. By abandoning desire we remove the disappointment of failing to achieve our desires. It makes us live more happily in the present.

"But how does one feel joy without desire?" Abandoning desire doesn't mean abandoning joy. Abandoning desire is the abandoning the feeling of accomplishing desires. Think about when you got a really good promotion. It felt good right? We become easily addicted to that feeling of accomplishment. We work harder for more promotions, ruin our well-being for that promotion, and then get more upset then we usually would when we don't get that promotion. Take things with a grain of salt, be prepared not to get it.

What is happiness to me? All the little things. If you live life expecting happiness from all the big things, most of your life will be unhappy because most of life isn't filled with big things. Big things are temporary, they last for a short amount of time, don't expect big things to fill your fulfillment because big things aren't enough to fill it. Little things, however, are constant and are everywhere, so enjoy that instead.

Let go of want and needs, and enjoy the present. (Some of what has been mentioned is Zen, buddhism, and taoism. Look up Alan Watts audio lectures for eastern philosophies.)

/r/askphilosophy Thread