In 1932 the mother superior of a Milwaukee convent asked each of her novices to write an essay on “Why I want to be a nun”. The essays were kept, and decades later a psychologist scored them for positive emotion. Amazingly that score turned out to be a powerful predictor of how long each nun would live.

So happiness is good for you. It is also what people want. Everyone wants to be happy, yet many are not. This has been the human condition for as long as anyone can remember – Samuel Beckett said that the tears of the world are a constant quantity. But what if the tears of the world are not so ...


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