This simple exercise takes just 10 seconds a day…
But those 10 seconds will have a far-reaching impact on your life.
You’ll feel inexplicably happier. You’ll look younger. And your relationships will never be the same.
Ready to give it a try? You can do it right now, while you’re reading this article.
(Don’t worry: I’m not going to ask you to do anything that will embarrass you. No one will even notice you’re doing this exercise, I promise.)
All you have to do is think of the man in your life.
If you’re not in a relationship, think about someone you’re interested in. You can even pick an ex you still have feelings for.
Got his mental picture in your mind? Great. Now think to yourself:
“I wish for [HIS NAME] to be happy.”
Feel that wish in your heart. You should feel something in your chest, perhaps a loosening or warm sensation.
That’s it! All done.
So what just happened when you did this exercise?
This exercise is a simplified form of the loving-kindness meditation, a Buddhist practice that goes back thousands of years.
It was originally developed to cultivate kindness, compassion, and goodwill towards all living things, but science has discovered that its benefits go far beyond the spiritual.
According to the HeartMath Institute, thinking of a loved one while focusing attention on your heart boosts levels of the anti-aging hormone DHEA.
Dr. David R. Hamilton found that the anti-aging benefits go even further. He points to a small study that showed regular practitioners of loving-kindness have longer telomeres, a biological marker of youth.
It’s extraordinary. Wanting others to be happy can literally make you younger on a physiological level.
But those aren’t the only benefits. Wanting someone else to be happy can make you instantly happier, not to mention what it does for your relationship. Here’s how.
Chade-Meng Tan was one of the earliest employees at Google. He wasn’t just an engineer; he was also an accomplished meditator. About ten years ago, he created a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course for Google employees that exploded in popularity. It’s now found worldwide.
Meng is the one who took the slightly more involved loving-kindness meditation and stripped it down to its essentials.
During his talks, he asks audience members to pick two people in the room—could be complete strangers—and think, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.”
This exercise shifts the energy of the room in an instant.
“All other things being equal,” he explains, “to increase your happiness, all you have to do is randomly wish for someone else to be happy.”
So let’s go back to how you felt when you were doing this exercise.
When you wished for your loved one to be happy, did it bring a smile to your face?
It’s hard not to smile when you’re sending loving thoughts toward someone you love.
As Meng found, it works for random strangers, too.
When you’re standing in one of those interminable lines, the ones that make your blood boil, trying picking two people out of the line in front of you and thinking, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.” See if it shifts your energy.
This exercise is particularly powerful when you’re irritated with someone. Let’s say your partner is annoying you to no end. You don’t know what to do with him.
Normally, negative thoughts about him hijack your mind, but this time you’re going to try something different.
This time, you’re going to establish a new habit. Every morning, maybe when you’re taking a shower or making coffee, you’re going to think to yourself, “I wish for him to be happy.”
Really wish it. Feel it in your heart.
Because, of course, you do want him to be happy. Even though you’re struggling, even though you don’t like how he’s acting, you still want him to be happy.
He’ll never know you did this exercise, but he’ll feel the results.
The HeartMath Institute has also found that emotions often synchronize in couples. So when you feel positive thoughts towards your partner, your partner picks up that positive energy, even if no words are exchanged.
It’s really that simple.
1 positive thought for 10 seconds a day.
Think you could make this part of your daily schedule?
 Quoted by Tim Ferriss, Tools of Titans (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) 157.
 Tools of Titans 158.