If you had to guess the single most important influence on happiness, what would be your answer? Money? Fame?
I think most people would pick those.
And most people would be wrong.
Harvard University researchers have been following the same men for over 75 years, and they’re now following their children to identify the strongest influence on our happiness, health and wellbeing.
“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier,” reports Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist, and Professor at Harvard Medical School.
Yup. It’s true. In the final analysis, when we’re each laying on our deathbed waiting to leave this life, we’ll evaluate our life based on how fulfilling our relationships were.
And numbers don’t matter. It’s not about how many friends you have. It’s also not whether or not you succeeded in your first marriage (committed relationship) or if you’re on marriage number six (frankly, if you’re on marriage 6, I think you should feel pride in your perseverance). It’s all about the quality of those relationships. Were you happy in them? Did you love well and were you well loved by others?
It makes me wonder what the world would look like if we were raised to prioritize our relationships. Imagine if we were taught from the beginning to spend as much time learning relationship skills as we’re encouraged to spend making a living?
Your level of happiness and success in life is directly correlated to the quality of your relationships and therefore should be a top priority. The time, money and energy spent in improving your communication and relationship skills will be invaluable.
Relationship skills improve every area of your life - family, friendships, career, love life
Relationships are the most important part of your life and therefore should be a number one priority. We all make time for what we deem important.