In a study that was 75 years in the making, Harvard just released the results on what men need to live a happy life. (If you’re wondering when the one for women comes out, me too!) The 20 million dollar Grant Study, as it is known, pointed to the straight-forward conclusion they sum up with “Happiness is love. Full stop.” George Vaillant headed the study for the past 30 years and published the results in his new book, Triumphs of Experience:
…the people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa. While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength. Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, and physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also finds a powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and the health and happiness you enjoy in later years. In his findings, Vaillant reflects that the 58 men who scored highest on this measurement of “warm relationships” earned an average of $141k a year more during their peak salary years then the 31 men who scored lowest on WR. High scorers on this scale were also 3x’s more likely to have the kind of success that landed them in Who’s Who.
Find out more about the study’s findings and listen to a brief interview with George Vaillant here.
Jeremi McManus is a Relationship Coach, Psychotherapist, and Couples Therapist who works with people who want more fulfilling and satisfying relationships. His own ups and downs in dating and relating were instrumental in leading him into this field. If you feel like you could use some perspective, he looks forward to hearing from you. Jeremi is a Licensed Psychotherapist and delighted to call San Francisco home.