Harvard conducted one of the longest and most comprehensive studies of human development – the 75 year old Grant Study – that’s reached some fascinating conclusions regarding the recipe for leading a happy life. The sample group was comprised of healthy male Harvard college students who, over the course of their lifetime, agreed to meet with an array of scientists and researchers who measured their psychological, physical and anthropological traits. Though all identities are confidential, it was recently discovered that John F. Kennedy was a sample participant.
Following these men through times of war, their careers, parenthood and old age, the Grant Study has amassed an exorbitant amount of data that deeply reflects the human condition.
What can be concluded from seven decades of data? It is quite simple actually; warm relationships between parents, spouses, children and friends have the greatest impact on your health and happiness in old age. The study found that 93 percent of the sample group who were thriving at age 65, had a close relationship with a sibling when they were younger.
As George Vaillant, the lead director of the study states, it can all be boiled down into five simple words: “Happiness is love. Full stop” [Source: Business Insider]