The other day I was checking out our new OAAP blog, Thriving Today, to re-familiarize myself with the topics and the resources about which we had previously written. I wanted to post something this week that would be new and different, maybe even insightful and profound − a short piece that would dispense some really helpful advice about how, in times of significant difficulty and uncertainty, we can best help ourselves navigate our way through the challenges we sometimes have before us.
As I was reading our various blog posts, I noticed that many of them used words like relationships, contact, social connection, family, friends, and community and emphasized how important these are in maintaining our well-being. As I was reading, I started thinking about a TED Talk I’d watched a few years ago. I couldn’t remember the name, but it had to do with the findings of a 75-year longitudinal study through Harvard University about happiness and health and well-being in life. It involved hundreds of participants and was supposedly the longest study of its kind ever conducted.
The one thing I did recall, the thing I think that stuck most in my mind, was that the speaker, who was the current director of the research, said something to the effect that, after all the many decades of research and the tens of thousands of interviews conducted, there was “one very clear message” about the most important thing we need to do in our lives if we are to achieve and maintain the happiness, health, and well-being that most of us seek.
I just knew I had to Google that TED Talk and watch it again. I’m glad I did. It took me back to those words: relationships, contact, social connection, family, friends, and community. It was the best 12 minutes of my day.