Good Morning Subscribers!
We all want to be happy no matter where you grew up, what race you are, what religion you believe in, how much money you have; we are all trying to figure out the secret sauce to maintain happiness.
Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger explains that they conducted a study on millennials to understand what their major life goals were. They concluded that over 80% of the tested data said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. He explains that another 50% of those same young adults stated that another major life goal was to become famous. Based on the data presented, the professor explained that many of us have been given the impression that these are the things that we must go after to live a good life.
Robert has been a part of one of the longest studies of adult life ever conducted. The Harvard Study of Adult Development has been tracking the lives of 724 men for over 75 years. The study included medical exams, drawing blood, scanning their brains, and talking to their children. From all the data collected, what did they learn about making a happy life? It turns out that the lessons aren’t about being famous, wealth, or even working harder and harder. They concluded that the clearest message from all this data was that: “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
As humans, we are sociable by nature, even if you believe that you’re an introvert. “It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they're physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected.” The study shows that individuals who are more isolated experience loneliness and ultimately contribute to being “less happy”; their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines, and live shorter lives than people that are not lonely.
Meaningful relationships protect not only our bodies but also our brains. Meaningful social connections actually keep us alive. What does this mean? We must not focus on things to sustain happiness; we must concentrate on meaningful relationships with family, friends, and community! Focus on the friends and family that you trust and care about; this will actually keep you happier and healthier. The good life is built with good relationships.
- Chazz Scott of The Nucleus