22 March 2023
Reading time: 3:53 minutes

The most important factor of life-long happiness

Scientific research^ confirmed what people knew for centuries - your job is not your source of happiness

^ Harvard study of adult development ~ https://www.adultdevelopmentstudy.org/

Being happy is not hidden inside the job

The results of the longest-running study of human behaviour and achievement came back loud and clear.

Success, satisfaction and happiness are not tied to job titles or the importance of the job. They are not affected by education or wealth amassed either.

The stability and depth of relationships predict the life satisfaction

Relationships predict satisfaction and happiness experienced by the person. They also affect how other parts of life will turn out.

This is something that was never done before. The study follows the same people since 1938. Thousands of people from young adulthood through maturity and old age. And now all their children as well.

Warm relationships affect not only the subjective feelings we have about our lives.

They also affect real physical and mental health. People with good relationships had stronger bodies and sharper minds for longer.

And yes, they lived longer too.

People with strong relationships recovered faster from illness. They were also less likely to have diabetes or heart disease.

This is because of stress management.

When we are going through stress at work or in any other area of life, we can return to normal by talking it through with someone. The main thing is, that they will not judge us.

It has to be someone, who will listen to us, and let us talk.

Someone, who will let us take it all out without trying to tell us what we did wrong. People lead happier and healthier lives when they have at least one person whom they can call and talk to when they are scared or stressed.

The proudest moments of life

People at the sunset of their lives were asked, what they were the proudest of.

None mentioned how much money they made or the awards they received. Each of them mentioned something about relationships.

"I was a good mentor."
"I was a good friend."
"I was a good partner."
"I raised healthy kids."

What meant the most to each of them were the strength and the warmth of the connections to others.

What types of relationships?

Different tests established that the type of relationship doesn't matter.

It doesn't have to be an intimate relationship. It can be your family, friends, work colleagues, a person you get coffee from, or even a stranger.

As long as you keep talking to someone, in person or over the phone, you maintain that needed connection.

It needs practice.

It's the same as keeping fit physically. You don't go to the gym or for a walk once and think that you are set for life. The same goes for your relationships. It's a practice we need to maintain over time.

As long as you keep it regular, any relationship benefits both participants.

And while one is enough, two or three different ones are better. When one person leaves your life, you still have the other two. And you can search for a new person to add to your circle.

What you can do?

  • If you have a relationship, especially with people living with you, don't take it for granted.
    • Do something new together once in a while.
    • Go for a walk, take a trip, go on a date.
    • Do something different from your usual routine.
  • If you don't have a relationship
    • Focus on things you care about. Join a club or volunteer in your community. You will meet people who have the same interests as you do. That will help to start a conversation and you can find a great relationship this way.
    • Train your "talk to others" muscle. Strike a casual conversation in the checkout line or at the bus stop.
    • Connect with someone from your past. Just send them a simple message "Just thinking about you and want to reconnect." They might not respond and they might. Either way, you started to connect. Keep it going.

Remember, life flies

Don't let people disappear from your life. Life is not something to take for granted. Even if you are an introvert, maintain a couple of relationships intentionally.

When you are going to come to the end of your life, you will not think about another memo to write.

You will think about people you have or miss in your life.

I wish you a long and happy life with warm relationships in it.

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Thank you for reading.
See you next time.


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