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Two things lifelong studies agree on when it comes to living a long, happy life ...


Stashed in: Longevity!, @bakadesuyo, Relationships, Awesome, Happiness, #kindness, #love, Happiness

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Eric Barker writes:

I’ve posted a number of times about two nearly-lifelong studies: the Terman Study (covered in The Longevity Project) and the Grant Study (covered in Triumphs of Experience.)

While different in some respects, both followed a sample of people from youth until death and provided insights into what makes for a happy, healthy life.

What two big ideas do they both strongly agree on?

I'll include favorite parts below, or you can read all of Eric's article here.

1) A happy childhood matters more than you think.

The Grant Study found being happy when you’re old is tied to having had a warm childhood.

Sadly, our own childhoods are not something we can change, but this is something to keep in mind if you are or will be raising kids.

Basically, be good to children, because you affect their future happiness.

Not only did I have a happy childhood, when I was 11, I remember fervently wishing that I'd never have to grow up, because I knew how good I had it.

That's the beautiful thing about time. It keeps moving forward whether we want it to or not!

2) Relationships are the most important thing.

What was the Terman study’s most important recommendation for a longer life?

…connecting with and helping others is more important than obsessing over a rigorous exercise program.

Read that sentence again. It wasn’t receiving help from others, it was giving it. Wow.

I agree with this--have always found it much more fulfilling to give...so much so that it's not easy to receive sometimes. Humbling...

It might be that becoming a billionaire or winning an Oscar is more fulfilling than giving to others (though I doubt it) but you can help others every day of your life.  Even Meryl Streep has only won 3 Oscars.

Daniel Day-Lewis too. :)

I like your line: "You can help others every day of your life."

It's a way of life--I see so many writings on this, almost as if people wouldn't consider it otherwise... Giving doesn't have to involve money--"time,treasure,talent."  I think money is often the most expeditious. The other two require love and passion. 

Giving is especially meaningful when it involves time and/or talent.

The Grant Study found that “the capacity to love and be loved was the single strength most clearly associated with subjective well-being at age eighty”:

The Grant Study realized there was a single yes/no question that could predict whether someone would be alive and happy at age 80:

“Is there someone in your life whom you would feel comfortable phoning at four in the morning to tell your troubles to?”

More on the Terman study here. More on the Grant Study here.

I'm not sure I could count that high!

*good problem to have

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