As 2015 draws to a close, and there are many things calling for my attention, I wasn’t sure I was going to have time for a post the day after Christmas. However, watching a TED talk on the outcomes of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which reached its 75 year mile stone in 2013, I realized how we all approach it from different vantage points, but we reach the same conclusion.
The secret to a long and contented life is love. Having born witness to many people as they close out their lives, it’s not how much money they have, their status, fame or fortune, but rather the family and friends that love them and who they love in return. As one of the researchers on the Harvard study noted, “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.”
According to Robert Waldinger, the current director of the Harvard study, there are three very important take away points of the study:
• Social connections are really good for us, loneliness kills
• It's not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship, but it's the quality of your close relationships that matters
• Good relationships don't just protect our bodies, they protect our brains.
On that note, wishing you much love and joy in 2016.