The relationship is key (again) . . .

Begun in 1938 by Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant, the 75-year Grant Study of Adult Development was the longest ever longitudinal study of human development, aimed at unearthing the secrets to a happy and purposeful life.  With some acknowledged limitations (not least of all male-only participants), the results, in short, suggest that our lives continue to evolve as we get older, and that they often become more fulfilling in our later years.

Some of the life lessons gleaned from the study might seem obvious, but are nevertheless good to hear:

  • love is key to a happy and fulfilling life
  • more money and more power don’t mean more happiness
  • it doesn’t matter where you start off in life … you can become happier
  • to effectively deal with challenges we need coping mechanisms
  • coping mechanisms impact on our wellbeing

And one last thing:

“Joy is connection,” Vaillant says. “The more areas in your life you can make connection, the better.  The conclusion of the study, not in a medical but in a psychological sense, is that connection is the whole shooting match.”



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