I've been thinking a lot about the importance of happiness and living a long, meaningful life. For some reason this appears to be on the minds of many in the U.S. Perhaps it is the baby boomers reaching a certain point in their lives. We all may desire this. Though the path may be elusive at times, there are important ingredients to assist in our happiness journey. I heard the wonderful Dr. Robert Waldinger on NPR recently. He is the director of the "Study of Adult Development" which has studied a group of men for the past 75 years. I've included his Ted Talk on YouTube. Let me share some of his and other happiness ideas I have found.
Love is what really matters! The feeling of LOVE can help us overcome the most difficult hurdles and adversity! Being happy begins with a choice and loving another is building block number one!
I consider myself a life long student of self-improvement. I have taken a few wrong paths. The road often forks, and we have to choose which one to take. In my early work career I wanted fortune and fame. With age and introspection I came to realize my need to evolve from narcissism to contentment. Marla, who is much wiser than me, seems to innately choose the right path! I'm going where she is going!
The Harvard study clearly showed the men who were most happy and lived the longest had one crucial element in their lives,...CONNECTION. They were strongly connected to their loved ones, friends, family, or their community. Relationships are the strongest predictor of life satisfaction. "Connection is the whole shooting match!" While on a Wesco Fabrics buying trip in Bali last March I took this picture from the car. Community and connection for sure!
The love for my family is paramount and is my bedrock! They all have taught me so much!
Friends are very important in connection. This has never been my strong suite! This is probably why I ran track and cross-country in college, and why I enjoyed the movie"The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner." I have worked to reach out more and do my best to be a better friend! Philippe has been a good friend of mine for many years and I am grateful for it!
My happiness project includes taking care of ourselves physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally. These ingredients help us to be happy, more resilient, and able to bounce back from adversity. Life is always about work of some dimension or another, but we must also have fun and laugh together. A little adventure and occasionally being out of our comfort zone helps as well! We don't always need a map.
"Love has my back" as I progress on the journey,... doing my best to live a long, fulfilling life. Thank you Marla,...I am grateful each day!
"Our destinies are decided
by a cosmic roll of the dice,
the winds of the stars,"
the vagrant breezes
of fortune that blow from
the windmills of the gods.”
I am sure Love and Connection help us with our destinies as well!
Fabulous video about the Harvard "Study of Adult Development."
Marla highly recommends watching Harvard professor, Shawn Achor!