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The pursuit of wealth and power has been shown in dozens of studies to be a highly inefficient method of increasing well-being and happiness.

To be sure, if your income doubles you will be slightly happier.

But how much effort do you think is involved in doubling your income? Motivational speakers will tell you that the money is worth the sacrifices. Applying that same level of energy towards strengthening one’s relationships, cultivating compassion and gratitude, and so on much more reliably creates positive, transformative change.

Now imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you.

In which world do you think you would have more self-esteem? The key is what’s on our minds as we’re trying to fall asleep.

If it’s worries about the kids, or anxiety about work, the level of stress in our body will increase, reducing sleep quality, keeping us awake, and cutting our sleep short.

I expect this to change – because of my compassion and gratitude practices I am starting to have spontaneous urges to help others.

This is because the very nature of gratitude is to focus on others (on acts of benevolence).

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