A 75-year long Harvard Grant Study revealed the key to finding true happiness, something we’ve known all along…love. This incredibly complicated and extensive study followed 268 Harvard undergrads on their journey through life in order to achieve a greater understanding of what happiness really is in the long run.
So what exactly did the study find? Well, according to the primary director of the study from 1972-2004, George Valiant, we have two pillars of happiness. The first pillar is love and the second is basically trying to live without pushing love away from your life.
Honestly speaking, that sounds exactly right. Think of your own experiences with life; most of the time we are seeking to develop relationships for the sake of love. One of the most prevalent forms of love is through friendships.
While we are young, as toddlers and teens, we tend to have a mass amount of friends; we call everyone we say hi to our friend. Especially when we're younger, a simple act like sharing your toy was a sign of true friendship.
But as we grow older, the number of people we consider friends dwindles into a smaller group of 5-6 people that we call our true friends. As we grow older, we don’t stop making friends per se, but we begin to focus more on achieving love within those friendships so we build within a few selected friends and strengthen relationships through love.
Family and friends aside, one of the greatest searches of humanity since as long as we’ve been on Earth, is the search for “true love”. As cliché as that may sound, it sincerely applies to this study. Throughout life we naturally try to search and find someone to love, someone who will make us happy.
The reason being, humans by default are social beings and need to feel accepted in order to feel happy. We do not work well alone and many perceive loneliness in a negative light. By finding love, we feel accepted; thus, finding love is the secret to eternal happiness, wouldn’t you agree?
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