Happiness Part 3: What Makes a Good Life?

Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it is fame and money, you’re not alone – but, per psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development at Harvard, you’re mistaken.

Here are some important points from Robert Waldinger on Ted.com (link below):

  • There was a recent survey of millennials asking them what their most important life goals were, and over 80 percent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. And another 50 percent of those same young adults said that their other major life goal was to become famous.
  • The clearest message from the 75-year study by The Harvard Study of Adult Development is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.

A few years ago, I received an email from one of our earliest graduates. He wanted to invite my wife and me for lunch. When I called him, he mentioned that he graduated from PC AGE in around 1993 and now his son who is 21 is on his way to enroll at PC AGE. He wanted to take us to lunch just to thank us. He mentioned that when he came to PC AGE, he was laid off from a dying publishing company with not much hope for the future, but that training has literary changed his and his family’s life. He was now a Senior Network Admin at a prestigious company, earning six figures.

As Robert Waldinger concluded in his lecture, “The good life is built on good relationships,” at PC AGE, our success and happiness are built on our good relationships with students and employers who have hired our grads for the last 25 years. Good relationships are built by truly caring about people who put their trust on you. That is what you will find at PC AGE.

Zafar Khizer
President
PC AGE Career Institute

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