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December 27th, 2015

What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

By Ron Nakamoto

This TEDx Talk by Robert Waldiner, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development (perhaps the longest longitudinal study in history) points to some remarkable insights about happiness, fulfillment, and meaning in life. According to the study, it’s not wealth, fame, hard work, or achievement that leads to “the good life”, it’s high quality, close relationships. Waldinger points out that 1 out of 5 people in the U.S. suffers from loneliness and lacks such close relationships. He also points out that it’s not the number of relationships, the fact that one is married, or whether or not there’s conflict in a relationship but rather it’s being able to count on others that constitutes close relationships.

In summary, Waldinger says:

“The good life is built on good relationships.”

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What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to buil…

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