Earlier last week I saw a headline that got my attention (good marketing!)
The headline read: 80% of millennials surveyed said being rich would make them happy.
As I read the article it went on to say that 75% of these same millennials surveyed said that fame would also make them happy.
Being curious I started googling studies on happiness to see what’s out there. I was blown away to find the longest university study EVER conducted was done by Harvard and it was an 80 year long study on happiness. HOLY SHIT! I dove in.
So in 1938 in the middle of the great depression Harvard decided to do a study on 600 men (decades later they added women to the study as well).
Half the study participants were students from Harvard and half were from the slums of Boston.
Many of these men ended up going to fight in the war.
The rest came back and lived their lives and the study continued on for decades.
Some become rich and famous. One became a U.S. president. Some went from rich and famous to poverty…
Every two years for the last 80 years the participants were asked a series of questions, observed in their day to day relationships and given health check ups.
Here’s what they’ve discovered in 80 years of observation. Three things to be exact…
1) Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. The quality of our relationships matter. High conflict relationships (friendships, partnerships, marriages, ect) are toxic to health and happiness.
2) Social connections are really good for us and loneliness kills. Isolated people are less happy. In fact, they found that isolated people have faster brain decline.