By Christine Martinello
It’s the eternal quest – the search for a happy life. What if you knew just what to do, to have a happy and successful life?
Would you focus on it with all your time, money & energy? Probably.
Do you think the secrets are; Having plenty of money, a happy marriage, experience, your dream career, being a philanthropist, having a strong work ethic, or being raised in a happy childhood?
Some fascinating research reveals the secrets to a happy and successful life. The Harvard-Grant study was conducted for 75 years at a cost of over 20 million dollars. Dr. George Vaillant, the lead researcher, notes there are two pillars of happiness:
“One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”
The study directs us to a five-word conclusion:
“Happiness is love. Full stop.” Vaillant says.
Love means everything. A person can have plenty of money and luxuries, but if love is absent, they ultimately feel unfulfilled deep down inside.
“Our relationships with other people matter, and matter more than anything else in the world,” writes Vaillant in a 2009 Positive Psychology News article.
Your earliest relationships impact your long-term happiness, specifically the relationship you have with your mom. Business Insider highlights a connection to the fact that men who had “warm” childhood relationships with their mom we more likely to earn more money, have professional success and were less likely to develop dementia in their later years.
We know healthy relationships set a foundation for overall life contentment but also career satisfaction. Vaillant says that having a meaningful connection to the type of work you’re doing is more important than achieving traditional success.
This research confirms ancient wisdom.
“In as much as love grows in you,
So in you beauty grows.
For love is the beauty of the soul. ~St. Augustine
“Don’t underestimate the power of love, because it’s the key to happiness.” Vaillant writes. LOVE. Yes, we’re talking about loving relationships.
Value & cherish love above all else.
Grow in Love.
So, the next time you have a choice between going shopping for a little ‘retail therapy’ or indulging in other ‘escapism’ activities, take a moment to think of a new way to love. Ask, “What’s the next loving thing I can do?”
Ultimately, growing loving relationships and forgiving, will make you happier in the long run.