What makes us happy? Is it the cars, the big house, the money, the fame or the appreciation? According to Robert Waldinger, director of the 75-year-old study on happiness, we are mistaken!
In 1938, a study began to track over 700 men consistently, inquiring about their work, their lives, and their health. Such studies are extremely difficult to carry out since often over a period of 75 years, you face good momentum and unfortunate events. For this particular study, Rober Waldinger is the 4th director.
As of now, the study is further moving into understanding and learning about over 2000 children of their initial participants. Today, only 60 of the participants are alive.
Fun Fact: One of the participants went on to become the President of the United States.
Participants became factory workers, engineers, and doctors. Some became alcohol addicts while some develop schizophrenia.
“Many of the inner city Boston men ask us, ‘Why do you keep wanting to study me? My life just isn’t that interesting.’ The Harvard men never ask that question.” – Robert Waldinger
“I’d like to close with a quote from Mark Twain. More than a century ago, he was looking back on his life, and he wrote this: ‘There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.’” – Robert Waldinger
This study has cracked the code of understanding what a Good Life is and the sooner we learn, the better it is.
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Featured Image Courtesy: Positive Psychology (www.positivepsychology.org.uk)
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