In this Ted Talk, Robert Waldinger asks “What Makes a Good Life?” and answers that with “Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness.”
More impressive though is his message. He has worked on the Grant Study. This study began in 1938 and tracked the lives of 724 men, 60 of whom are still alive.
He starts off with a great question:
If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you spend your time?
That question makes me consider where I’m spending my time. We’re all busy throughout the day but what are we spending our time doing? Is it going to help us be the best person we can be? Is it helping us achieve our dreams and goals? Probably not all the time, at least in my case.
Back to the study…
The results showed the secret to a happier life is all about relationships. That’s right, good relationships keep us happier and healthier.
One interesting note is that those who believe they can count on their partner show less memory decline than those who feel they can’t count on their partner. To me, this seems counterintuitive. The person who can’t count on their partner and loses their memory is the one who will have to rely on their partner the most.
The study showed social connections are good for us and on the opposite end, loneliness kills.
However, it has more to do with the quality of those relationships as opposed to the quantity of relationships. Good relationships protect your body and your brain.
As Dr. Waldinger notes, this is not brand new information. We’ve heard it before, probably many times but we miss the mark. Why? Because we are human and we all like quick fixes. Here are a few tips Dr. Waldinger gives to help us make some progress:
- You must actively work to replace work mates with new play mates.
- Replace screen time with people time.
- Try something new with those you already have a relationship.
- Reach out and connect with those who are estranged from you.
The video is below, please take a minute (or 12 minutes and 47 seconds) to watch!
Happy to be linking with Chic on a Shoestring and…