What Makes a Good Life?

What Makes a Good Life?



Dr. Robert Waldinger sure knows how to talk.  And to listen.  

Waldinger is the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, is the longest study of adult life that has ever been done.  724 men’s lives have been tracked for 75 years.  (Yes, 75 YEARS!)  

From the time they were adolescents, these men were asked about what they wanted from their lives, whether they were satisfied, how they viewed their success and much more.  Over more than seven decades, their answers have been recorded and studied.  About 60 men are still alive, now in their 90s.

Dr. Waldringer is the fourth Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development.  He is now expanding the Study to the Baby Boomer children of these men to understand how childhood experience reaches across decades to affect health and wellbeing in middle age.

In his TED Talk, he explains how the study works, what kinds of questions these men (and, eventually, their wives and children) were asked and—most importantly—what these decades of research have allowed us to learn about the not-so-simple question of What Makes a Good Life?

This TED Talk has already been viewed by more than 1.5 million people in its first two weeks on the web.  It’s well worth a few minutes of your day.  Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments below.


What are the lessons?  

Spoiler alert:  Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.  As  Dr. Waldinger says, “This is wisdom that’s as old as the hills.”  

But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.



by Donna Giachetti

Donna Giachetti writes frequently for ACT TWO. Her blog posts are available here.



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