The secret to happiness revealed in longest-ever study
Updated: Dec 10, 2018
Happiness Happens Day celebrates all things that bring happiness! Here at Appco Australia it got us thinking: What’s the secret to a happy and healthy life? Before we reveal the secret, here’s a hint: It’s the simple things in life that bring us joy.
In a TED Talk, Robert Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, shares some fascinating data collated from the longest-ever study on happiness and reveals the secret to achieving it.
Over the past 75 years, 724 men took part in the study (women weren’t in the original study as the college was still all male at the time). They were asked a multitude of questions about their work, home lives and health and underwent medical testing every two years over span of their life. It’s important to point out that studies like this one are exceedingly rare; people often lose interest or funding dries up; yet this study has survived.
Researchers tracked the circumstances and choices of participants and later studied the effects on their lives. The study revealed countless learnings, including the surprisingly simple secret to happiness. Waldinger says: “The lessons aren’t about wealth, or fame, or working harder, and harder. The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: good relationships keep us happier and healthier, period.”
Waldinger goes on to say: “It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community are happier, their physically healthier and they live longer than people who are less well connected.”
So, what can people in business learn from this? Being happy in your professional life is just as important as your personal life, and although managing the two can be tricky, having equilibrium is ideal.
At Appco Australia, in honour of Happiness Happens Day, we’re reminding ourselves to spend quality time with our families and friends. Maintaining a good work-life balance will help you stay focused, perform better when working, and in the long run, contribute to your overall wellbeing and – yes – happiness.