Really early in life we need to make choices that will affect our future: choose a career; move out of our parents’ house; change cities…
Most of the time we ask ourselves: what is the best option? And this is normally connected to: what will make us the happiest?
I couldn’t tell exactly how to make the right choice to have a good life until I saw this video:
What is this video about?
Robert Waldinger is the 4th director or a 75-year study on adult development – and still ongoing. In this video he gives a talk sharing this research on 724 men…
As we ask ourselves, this research asked those men what were their life goals, and 80% said it was to be rich! They were divided in two groups: one group was of softmores from Harvard; and the other was of boys from the poorest families of Boston.
“They grew old to become lawyers, factory workers and even president of U.S – climbing up or down the social leader.” – Robert Waldinger
After 75-years of analysing their interviews, medical records, brain scans, Robert presented the results on WHAT MAKES A GOOD LIFE in 3 simple lessons:
1.“Relationships keep us healthiest and happier!”
Unlike what we might have considered (or are considering) when making a choice; money or fame isn’t what will make us healthiest or happier in our future. Our relationships are!
We might be neglecting our family or friends or community – connections as he calls – for some life goal that isn’t gonna be as fulfilling as we think.
From the moment we enter school, we believe that working harder will make us succeed in life, and that this will make us happy. Then, in order to focus on our career, we neglect our relationships. It is very difficult to balance it out, I know. But this study shows it is worth it! You will live longer and happier if you work on your relationships.
According to this study, 1 in 5 Americans feels lonely. Loneliness can be fatal; leading to declining brain functions and shortening our lives!
So, let’s get out of our shell and make more connections!!
However, not all relationships may be beneficial – that leads us to the next lesson:
2. Quality matters!
Now, you might think Italians live longer for having big families! This study has shown that more important than the number of friends and family, is the satisfaction within the relationship!
Robert tells that getting a divorce may be more beneficial for your health than living in conflict, for example. Also, that you can feel lonely even in a relationship. What is important is the satisfaction within the relationship, the feeling of protection and trust!
The study also pointed out that people in a less satisfactory relationships had their physical pain magnified by their emotional pain.
So, it is about time for us to strengthen our relationships. How? By discussing and solving little everyday problems that makes us unhappy. It will not only benefit your daily mood waves, but also make you (and your partner) live a better life at the age of 80!
3. “Good relationships protect our brains”
When we get older, we have worries such as keeping our mental state healthy. To prevent that, we start learning a new language, doing puzzles etc…
But, according to this research, having good relationships is also the best way to keep our brain healthy!
That might not sound that easy. It’s true; we need to work on our relationships. But science has proved that a good life is built on that! So, let’s take the first step!
Nowadays, we are increasingly replacing real relationships for screens and more alone time. But, building up good relationships can’t be so difficult! Let’s get to those people that we really love and care about.
We can work on those relationships in several ways: making effort to do something together; or sending a message to those people you rarely speak to; or making peace with a person you fought with.
A good relationship requires hard work. The advantage? Long life, and health!
Let’s go on now; and tell our friends and family how much we appreciate them!
All the best,
PS. You can start by sending them this post and letting them know that you care!