Robert Waldinger :What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness ( TED talk)

27 Dec

This is a great talk. I came across this talk in LinkedIn shared by  Jeff Weiner. Linkedin has a terrific CEO  and has great ideas. That’s a different post.

Robert Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, in this TED talk shares a most important research from a longitudinal study of 75 years of  involving 724 men that the most important things are not money or fame but ” Relationships. Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” This is so true. More from the talk :

We’ve learned three big lessons about relationships. The first is that social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills. It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they’re physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected.

And we know that you can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage, so the second big lesson that we learned is that 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. It turns out that living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health. High-conflict marriages, for example, without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced. And living in the midst of good, warm relationships is protective.”

And the third big lesson that we learned about relationships and our health is that good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. It turns out that being in a securely attached relationship to another person in your 80s is protective, that the people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people’s memories stay sharper longer. And the people in relationships where they feel they really can’t count on the other one, those are the people who experience earlier memory decline. And those good relationships, they don’t have to be smooth all the time. Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out, but as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories. “

For more :

Every one want’s peace, love and happiness. Relationships are our greatest source of happiness and also our misery. It’s not easy. I have often felt ” I have no problems with others, my challenges have only come from myself.” I also like to think increasingly ” If only if we dont come in our way. we can have good lives.” Iam work in progress. I also feel self pity and resentment should be removed from our system. We may or may not get all the love and affection we need . But we can always love unconditionally. That is my current conviction and practice.  I wish for every one a person who loves  and cares for them ” Just for what they are and the way they are.”

I saw a message from Indian mystic Sadhguru ” As the year ends atleast make one promise. You will not be a issue in your life. ” I think it’s a good message.

Robert Waldinger has a great message ” Focus on good quality relationships.” I hope it works for all of us. Atleast we should try and give it a shot…

Have a easy Sunday!

Love, Suresh



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