The Harvard Study of Adult Development is an extraordinary scientific endeavour that began in 1938 and is still going strong. For over eight decades, the study has tracked the same individuals and their families, asking thousands of questions and taking hundreds of measurements—from brain scans to blood work—with the goal of discovering what really makes for a good life. Leading this study is Dr. Robert J. Waldinger. His work has given us unparalleled depth of insight into the factors that contribute to a fulfilling life. The Harvard Study has illuminated the profound importance of relationships, health, and personal satisfaction in shaping our well-being. The study’s findings have not only redefined our understanding of happiness but also inspired a shift in societal attitudes towards mental health and personal fulfilment. Now, Waldinger is sharing his insights in his new book, “The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Study on Happiness”. This compelling read distills decades of groundbreaking research into an engaging exploration of what truly matters in life. Waldinger’s book is not just a testament to the power of science in illuminating the human condition, but also a guide, offering readers practical wisdom on how to cultivate their own ‘good life’. In this interview, I speak to Dr. Robert J. Waldinger, the Author, Zen Priest and Professor, who leads the Harvard Study on Adult Development. We discuss what a study of thousands of people, from birth through to old-age reveals about what really matters to lead a ‘good life.’  

Thought Economics

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