TED : Ideas worth spreading

Review: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

Speaker: Robert Waldinger
Date: November 2015
Location: Brookline, Massachusetts

Description from TED website:
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

This talk is about an amazing 75+ year research study. They’ve had multiple directors over the program, and it has withstood the test of time, unlike many other longitudinal studies.

There is much debate about what can make people happy in their lives, but they’ve boiled down their research to three main lessons in regards to relationships – and we may need to understand these findings more now than ever before.

  1. Social Connections are good, and loneliness kills.
  2. Quality of relationships is more important than quantity!
  3. Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains!

Relationships are a key component of having long, happy lives. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because I highly recommend you go watch the talk for yourself!

Now, the question I have is how we can incorporate this talk into an educational setting. I can certainly see this talk being used in psychology and social work courses. What other areas could you see this talk being used? What types of assignments do you think could be spun off from this talk? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time … live long life-learner!

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