What makes you happy and healthy? Many people believe that it is reputation and money.
But according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, those are the wrong reasons. As the current director of Harvard’s Adult Development Research – a study that lasted 75 years and is also one of the longest studies in history, Waldinger has access to an unprecedented source of data on employers. In this presentation, he shared 3 important lessons drawn from the study. The presentation received over 23 million views on the TED forum.
What helps us stay healthy and happy?
Since 1938, we have followed the lives of two groups of people. The first group started to participate in the study when they were second year students at Harvard. They all graduated from university during World War II, then most served in the war.
The second group is a group of male students from Boston’s poorest neighborhood. They were chosen for research because they came from the most disadvantaged and disadvantaged families in Boston in the 1930s. Most live in group homes, many of which have no hot and cold water.
When participating in the study, all were interviewed. They are given a medical examination. We went to their home, interviewed their parents. After that, the children grew up and entered all walks of life. They became factory workers, lawyers, masons, doctors, including an American president. Some alcoholism. Some suffer from schizophrenia. Some from poverty climb to high positions of society, some go in the opposite direction.
In my wildest dreams, the founders of this study will never imagine that I will stand here today, 75 years later, to tell you that this research is still continue. Every two years, our team of persistent and enthusiastic researchers pick up the phone to ask if we can get more information about their lives.
Many people in the old Boston group asked, “Why do you still want to study me?” My life is nothing interesting. ” The Harvard graduate group never asked that question.