I am excited to give you the instructions for one of my favorite happiness exercises—the 3rd exercise, which I call "creative altruism." I call it that because, as you will soon find out, you’ll have to be both—creative and altruistic—in this exercise.
Your task in this exercise is to play an "altruistic prank" on someone. The exercise has four steps, and the first step is to come up with an idea and then a plan to evoke a feeling of joy or happiness in someone.
Remember how we used to play pranks on others when we were kids—like let the air out of someone’s bicycle or throw toilet paper over a neighbor’s house? In this exercise too, you’ll be asked to play a prank, except that, it won’t be just you who’s having fun; the "victim" of your prank will be having lots of fun too!
The objective is to asses whether being kind or generous is as reliable a source of happiness as it was found to be in the studies I mentioned in Chapter 3B of the book.
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