What makes us happy according to Robert Waldinger

What makes us happy according to Robert Waldinger

I’ve been a fan of TED Talks for quite some time now. I usually call it “TED in bed”, because that’s where I like to watch a few of these lectures on Sunday mornings and expand my horizons!

There’s one I absolutely love, given by a Harvard scientist, Robert Waldinger, who has been in charge of the longest longitudinal study in human behaviour in History. The study followed 724 people for more than 75 years – from their teenage years to old age – asking one simple question: what makes you happy?

Most of the young adults said their life goal was to become rich or to become famous. We’re given the impression that these are the things we need to go after in order to get a good life. However, this study concludes that it isn’t money, it isn’t power, it isn’t fame that brings people happiness. Good relationships are what keeps us both happy and healthier!

In this talk, Robert Waldinger shares three important lessons learned from the study :

Firstly, we learn that social connections are really good for us and loneliness kills! Loneliness is toxic! Secondly, the study concludes that it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. Living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health! And last but not least: Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies. They protect our brains as well!

So, the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships, with family, with friends, with the community.

So what about yourself? A good life is built with good relationships! Why not start changing our lives today, with those we love?

You can watch the TED Talk here.


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