When Emerson wrote, “Make yourself necessary to someone,” he anticipated modern research that strongly correlates altruism with well-being. It’s virtually impossible to be happy without good relationships. That comes out in the research again and again. It’s often said that virtue is its own reward, but love and its corollary of kindness confer other major benefits on those who practice them. Whether or not the recipients gain, we know that the doers do. They’re happier and healthier and live longer than people who pursue all the latest toys but never have enough.
Loving others is the key to loving yourself, perhaps?