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Project Good Life

What keeps us healthy and happy? — Discover the answers through this Harvard scientific study, TED Talk Insights!

Rahul Swami
Rahul Swami
3 min read
Project Good Life

There was a recent survey of millennials asking them what their most important life goals were…

— And over 80% said that a major life goal was to get RICH.

— And another 50% said that another major life goal was to become FAMOUS.

And we're constantly told to lean in to work, to push harder and achieve more. We're given the impression that these are the things that we need to go after in order to have a good life.


However, that is completely incorrect.




The Harvard study of adult development may be the longest study of adult life that's ever been done. — It tracked the lives of 724 men, and currently, about 60 of the original participants are still alive. The clearest message that get from 75-year study is this...

——— "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier"———


Three biggest lessons from this 75-year study...

Lesson 1:

People who are more socially connected —to family, —to friends, —to the community, are happier, they're physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected.

On the other hand, people who are more isolated from others are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely.

And the sad fact is that at any given time, more than one in five will report that they're lonely. And we know that you can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage.

Important Learning: Social connections are really good for us — and that kills loneliness!

Lesson 2:

'QUALITY' of your close relationships is very very important.

Living in a situation with a lot of conflicts is ‘NOT’ good for our health.

For instance, marriages with a lot of conflicts and little affection are very bad for our health, maybe even worse than getting divorced.

Once researchers had followed participants into their 80s, they wanted to look back at them at midlife and see if they could predict who was going to grow into a happy, healthy octogenarian and who wasn't. And when we gathered together everything knew about them at age 50, it wasn't their middle-age cholesterol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old. It was how satisfied they were in their relationships.

"The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50; were also the healthiest at age 80."

Happiest couples, both men and women, in their 80s, said that even on days when they experienced more physical pain, their mood remained positive. However, for individuals in unhappy relationships, when they experienced more physical pain, the emotional pain was intensified.

Lesson 3:

Good relationships don't just protect our bodies — they protect our brains!

People who are in good relationships where they feel they can ‘COUNT’ on the other person in times of need —— those people's memories stay sharper and longer.

On the other hand, individuals in relationships where they feel they ‘cannot rely’ on their partner are more likely to experience memory decline at an earlier stage.

And those good relationships don't have to be smooth all the time. Some octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out. But as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn't take a toll on their memories.


This study has shown that the people who fared the best were the people who leaned into relationships with —family, —with friends, and —with the community.

So what about you? Let's say you're 25, or you're 40, or you're 60. What might leaning into relationships even look like?

Well, the possibilities are practically endless...


  • Long walks or date nights
  • It might be something as simple as replacing screen time with people time
  • Livening up a stale relationship by doing something new together,

Remember: “A good life is built with good relationships!”

This is a simplified edited version of the original ted talk transcripts. Source:

✒️ Swamoney Thought:

I highly recommend watching the complete TED talk at least once — it's truly worth your time. This talk highlights the importance of investing time and energy in building and maintaining good relationships. It's not just about the quantity of time we spend, but the quality of our interactions that truly matters.

Now, what about you?

Are you investing quality time with your family, friends, and community?

— Think and introspect!

Please note that Swamoney is not associated with or affiliated with the source interview/talk/podcast. Our intention here is to share good interviews/talks/podcasts with a larger audience by providing essential summaries and highlights for real-life usage.

⚖️ 'Right' Life Balance

Rahul Swami Twitter

Meaningful Life + MONEY 💸

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