Number one predictor of life-long happiness

Issue number #010
23 March 2023
Reading time: 3:53 minutes

Happiness is not 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 life satisfaction

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

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

^ Harvard study of adult development ~

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 physical and mental health. People with good relationships had stronger, healthier bodies and sharper minds for longer.

And yes, they lived longer too.

People with healthy relationships rebounded 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.

No one mentioned how much money they made or the awards they received. Each of them cited something about relationships.

“I was a good mentor.”
“I was a good friend.”
“I was a good partner.”
“I raised healthy kids.”

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

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 can you 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 an amazing 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. 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.

So, here’s my tip:

Go out of your way to create a couple of deep, meaningful relationships. When you reach 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.

Stay awesome and have a great week.


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Thank you for reading.
See you next week.


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