Home Lifestyle Forbes Billionaire Ranking 2023 | Money is not the most important factor in happiness, according to a Harvard study

Forbes Billionaire Ranking 2023 | Money is not the most important factor in happiness, according to a Harvard study

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Evidence for what makes people happy is hard to come by, but a longitudinal study has been looking at happiness since the 1930s, and after decades of research, the findings are published in a new book, The good life.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development, led by Professors Robert Waldinger and Mark Schulz, studied the same 700 people and their families over time to find out what makes people thrive. They asked thousands of qualitative questions and took hundreds of quantitative health measurements, ranging from brain scans to blood tests.

In the 1930s, participants were drawn from either Harvard students or a group of boys from a disenfranchised suburb of Boston. They provided medical information every five years and every two years they answered detailed questions. Then their wives and children joined the study, which followed this group through work, marriage, divorce, and even death—the 25 participants left their brains behind for study after they died.

Waldinger is the fourth director of the project since its inception. He explains: “We’ve learned that people think happiness is something they can achieve – if they buy a house, get a promotion, or lose enough weight, happiness will follow. We act like it’s a destination we’ll get to if we tick the right boxes, but the data clearly shows that’s not true. And that’s a good thing, because happiness is no longer out of reach, but eminently achievable for each of us.

It turns out that money doesn’t make people happy, and neither does your job or rank. Above all, it is the relationships and bonds we weave that make people the happiest. Whether it was friendships, book clubs, romantic relationships, religious groups, athletic partners, or co-workers, the people who had the strongest social ties and connections in their fifties were healthier at age eighty.

As the authors summarize, “Good relationships make us happier and healthier. And that’s it.”

Translated article from Forbes US – Author: Alex Ledsom

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