75-Year Study Finds Secrets to a Fulfilling Life
A Harvard study conducted over the course of many decades followed the lives of real people from childhood until old age in order to see how they changed and what they learned.
George Vaillant, a Harvard psychiatrist, directed the study from 1972 until 2004, and wrong a book about it. Valliant found that love is the key to a happy and fulfilling life. According to him, there are two “pillars” of happiness. The first is love, and the other is figuring out how to cope with a life that doesn’t push love away.
The study’s most important finding, according to Vaillant, is that, universally, the only thing that matters in life is relationships. Men in the study had successful careers, money and good health, but without relationships, they did not report being truly happy.
One of the men in the study, Godfrey Camille, had the lowest rating for future stability than other men in the study, and had even attempted suicide. However, at the end of his life, he was one of the happiest, because had spent his life searching for love and found it.
The study’s conclusion found that strong relationships were the strongest predictor of life satisfaction, including career satisfaction, where someone felt connected to someone’s work was more important than making money.
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