Living a Good Life

Living a Good Life​

On Health and Happiness

On Health and Happiness

One question I’ve been thinking hard about the past 3 years is how to live a good life.

It’s a question that as human beings we’re not programmed for. We’re programmed for survival and surviving and living a good life doesn’t have to go hand in hand.

Because not thinking about it could mean a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.

The whole saying, without a goal, the wind will take you anywhere.

So I’m choosing a good life as the goal. For simplicity loving a good life is living a long and happy life. 

In a 1938 Harvard study, 268 Harvard men went through an 80 year study on what it took to live a healthy and happy life.

The study was later opened up to these men’s children and the Boston community.

After decades of long-term study, they had great insight into what it took to live a healthy and happy life.

The researchers looked at different variables like eating habits, their marriage, career triumphs and failures . 

The number one indicator of living a long happy and happy life wasn’t about what one ate.

It wasn’t their training regimen. It wasn’t how much money they made. It wasn’t about the state of the economy or government.

The most important factor was connection.

The strength of the connection in these people’s lives.

The bonds between their partner, their friends, family, and community.

Think of older couples in their 80’s and 90’s. Often times when Granny Cindy passes away; a week, a month, a year later; Grandpa Harry will too.

It’s the connection that had the largest tie and meaning for living.

One point in the study that was wide-opening was, “The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.”

Living a happy and long life starts decades before! I’d add that satisfied relationships stem from what we do in our youth, 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

How are we cultivating one of the most important factors of our lives?

Loneliness is toxic. It’s like smoking a box of cigarettes a day or abusing your liver with severe drinking. This cuts years off our life-span.  The same for loneliness. Though we don’t think of it that way it’s 

I’ve been guilty going for long droughts not seeing the people I care the most about.

For me making friends comes natural but maintaining these connection is what challenges me.

Let this be not only a reminder but something we thoughtfully think of.

It’s been easy for me to say “Oh, I’ll see so-and-so later.” and the months or even years past.

At the time of this writing, NBA Champion and International Cultural Icon Kobe Bryant passed away at the young age of 41.

The sentiment across the globe was how life is unpredictable and the only thing we have is the now. To hold close and cherish the ones we love now.

That means making a time to spend time with loved ones.

That said, I reached out to some friends to set up a date to hang out. I said, “I just got back the other day from Vietnam. How’s your weekend on the 23rd look like. Would love to visit you”

If it’s a goal there can always be an immediate task we can take. Whether booking a time in the calendar or in this case figuring out a time.

Action: What task will you take right now to strengthen your bonds and connections? Send a text to a family?

 

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