Lean Into a Longer, Happier Life

3 powerful lessons from the longest ever study on happiness

Laurence McCahill
Jul 23 · 2 min read

“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” Robert Waldinger

I recently came across this heart-warming TED talk by Robert Waldinger (see below). As the director of a 75-year-old longitudinal study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction.

In his talk, he shares 3 important lessons learned from the study, which are as relevant for entrepreneurs as they are for anyone else.

These back up what Eiji han Shimizu — the producer of Happy The Movie — told us in his memorable talk at Summercamp in 2015. That our level of social connection can determine the quality of our lives.

And that the happiest people, rather than being the most selfish, were in fact, the kindest.

Perhaps you know these already, but I find them to be a good reminder that more than anything we should invest in our relationships above all else, both in life and business.

  1. Social relations are good for us and loneliness kills
    People who are more socially connected to family, friends, community are happier, healthier and live longer than people who are less well connected.
  2. It’s not just the number of friends you have it’s the quality of your close relationships that matter
    Living in the midst of good warm relationships is protective. The people who were most satisfied with their relationships aged 50, were the healthiest at aged 80.
  3. Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains too.
    The people that had the strongest relationships found their memories stayed sharper for longer than those that didn’t.

In short: the people who fared the best in this study by far were those that leaned into relationships — with family, with friends, with community.

So what about you — what might leaning into relationships look like?


ps. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. So lean into our ready-made community of like minds this September at our 7th annual Summercamp for purpose-driven people. Just 10 spots left so apply here » www.happystartupsummer.camp

The Happy Startup School

Build a life and business rich with purpose

Laurence McCahill

Written by

Co-founder The Happy Startup School. Building a global community of heart-shaped entrepreneurs and leaders, one event at a time.

The Happy Startup School

Build a life and business rich with purpose

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