I love to cook.

Why do I love it?

Because it brings me joy – the satisfaction of mastering something, the outlet it provides by creating something from scratch and just the delight of engaging my senses.

But do you know why I really love it?

Because of the joy it brings to others.

Cooking for friends or family, watching them enjoy it, brings a smile to my face that few other things can create. 

This is vicarious joy – the pleasure of witnessing someone else’s happiness.

It comes from the Buddhist teaching of Mudita, which is the inner wellspring of joy that is always available for others.

I get a distinct pleasure in witnessing these moments.

Watching my friend’s dog burrow his head between couch cushions, and seeing his head disappear in the process, and the utter delight it brings to my friend’s face.

Noticing someone on the subway reading a book while a wry smile curls up on their face as they read a funny passage.

These are priceless moments to savor.

And you know what else?

Vicarious joy is a skill you can develop.

There is so much stress and heaviness in our daily lives that our ability to create joy has withered.

But vicarious joy is one way to get it back – and make it more accessible.

Try building it into your weekly, if not daily, practice.

Just look around – notice the joy of others – and really take it in.

The more you do this, the more you can cultivate your own joy.

And here’s the kicker –

Having that well of joy within you, just oozing out of your pores, makes you way sexy to females.  

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