What is the secret to a happy life? While there are countless opinions, articles, and videos on the subject of happiness, I thought it would be fun to learn about happiness from a study that has been focused on the subject for over 80 years.
To help us learn more about this study and its transformative results, I’ve invited the Director of the study Dr. Robert Waldinger on the show today.
Robert Waldinger is the Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted. He's the author of The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Study of Happiness (co-authored with Marc Schulz), which examines the central role of relationships in shaping our health and well-being.
Overview: The Secret to a Happy Life w/ Robert Waldinger
Robert Waldinger reviews the following:
- How quality relationships are proven to give us a happier life
- Why fostering quality relationships is a smart use of our time
- Robert's view on money and happiness
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Key Takeaways on The Secret to a Happy Life
Here are my top three takeaways from my conversation with Dr. Robert Waldinger.
Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to your relationships, it is more important to focus on quality over quantity.
Finding and nurturing relationships with 5 close friends and family members beats out having 5,000 casual social media followers any day.
Having someone who truly knows you and in turn, you know them, is a special thing. These types of relationships are the key to our long-term happiness and vitality.
Financial Independence Can Improve Your Relationships
I believe money can buy you happiness up to a point. It can help you have food, shelter, clothing, entertainment and so much more.
There does come a point when more money doesn’t move the happiness needle as much. At that point, I vote for working less (aka Part Time Work) so you can start earning a more important resource back … your time.
When we have more time in our schedule, we can spend it on nurturing quality relationships and making memories that truly last.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Dr. Waldinger talked about the loneliness epidemic that is sweeping the world lately. Loneliness is a slow killer. We need people, we need connections to survive and thrive.
Start today by reaching out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while to reconnect. Or join a group, a club or volunteer somewhere that helps you form new relationships. When you have a common interest, the conversation becomes a lot easier.
While these steps may feel like you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, they may lead you to a much happier place altogether.
Guest Bio – Robert Waldinger
Robert Waldinger, MD, is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and Zen priest. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted.
Dr. Waldinger is the author of The Good Life (co-authored with Marc Schulz), which examines the central role of relationships in shaping our health and well-being.
His TEDx talk on this subject has received nearly 44 million views.
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Carpe Diem Quote:
“True friends are great riches.”Unknown
What do you think of the advice from Robert Waldinger? Do you agree that quality relationships are the secret to a happy life?
Please let us know in the comments below.