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What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness|Robert Waldinger
- The Harvard Study of Adult Development may be the longest study of adult life that’s ever been done. For 75 years, we’ve tracked the lives of 724 men, year after year, asking about their work, their home lives, their health, and of course asking all along the way without knowing how their life stories were going to turn out.
- To get the clearest picture of these lives, we don’t just send them questionnaires. We interview them in their living rooms. We get their medical records from their doctors. We draw their blood, we scan their brains, we talk to their children.
- So what have we learned? What are the lessons that come from the tens of thousands of pages of information that we’ve generated on these lives? Well, the lessons aren’t about wealth or fame or working harder and harder. The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.
The extrapolations based off of the results of this study are quite similar to those of my all time favorite scientific investigation (on the inhabitants of Roseto, Pennsylvania)
- “Comparing pet ownership and the rates of the two mental illnesses, the researchers discovered that being exposed to a dog before the age of 13 had a huge effect on whether or not that person would later develop schizophrenia. Dog ownership cut the risk down by a staggering 25 percent.”
- “We found that drug industry-sponsored studies were about 30 per cent more likely to have results and conclusions that favoured the sponsor,” said senior author Lisa Bero of the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.
- “In 2012 the pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline was fined $3 billion in the US after it admitted corporate misconduct over the prescription and risk reporting of two antidepressants and an asthma drug.”
- Sorry if I’m starting to sound like a broken record on the topic of big pharma, but I really think it’s one of the most important issues of our time. The number of ineffective drugs and procedures being approved and prescribed due to financial incentives instead of actual merit is truly terrifying. My objective for all this criticism is to inspire people to do their own research and get second opinions instead of only listening to and acting upon their primary doctors’ recommendations. Doctors are not all knowing, and much of the evidence upon which they are basing their recommendations is being proven false.
- Bill Gates has a habit of occasionally shutting himself into a cabin in the woods for extended periods of time and doing nothing but reading, thinking, and strategizing.
“There is no such thing as adults, we’re all just children at varying levels of maturity.”
– Paraphrasing a quote by Naval Ravikant (I haven’t been able to find the exact original wording)