For a remarkable seventy five years the Harvard Study of Adult Development closely followed the lives of 724 men (it’s regrettable that women weren’t included in the study) in order to determine (among other things) what keeps us “happy and healthy as we go through life.”
In an article Posted today by The Daily Good entitled, ‘What Makes a Good Life‘ which summarized the results of the study , Robert Waldinger shares that the primary lesson that came out of the “tens of thousands of pages of information”generated by the study of these individual’s lives was that it’s not fame and fortune that makes people happy and healthy but rather, “good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
In ‘Decoding Keys to a Healthy Life,’ Alvin Powell shared Robert Waldinger’s (director of the study) observation, “We used to think that if you had relatives who lived to a ripe old age, that the following was the best predictor of a long life…It turns out that the lifestyle choices people make in midlife are a more important predictor of how long you live.”
In light of the above findings, it would seem that the following questions might be really important to ask ourselves. “How are the choices I’m making now impact my future health and happiness? Am I exercising enough? How am I managing stress? Am I making healthy food choices? Am I cultivating a spiritual life? And most importantly it would seem, Am I spending enough quality time with friends and family?
What wisdom might your answers to these questions offer you?