I frequently think about what is involved in living a healthy and happy life. Some obvious things come up like, eating healthy more often than not, exercising, more often than not, and minimizing stressors in my life, more often than not. But is that all there is to it? This morning, I bumped into a TedTalk (my absolute favorite source of some very interesting information from some very qualified people) that really caught my attention. It was a researcher, Robert Waldinger, talking about a 75+ year study of over 100 men to ask them key questions at frequent stages throughout their life to determine if they were living a happy, healthy and long life. The researcher starts the talk describing what most teenagers believe to be the goals they must achieve to have a happy, healthy and long life - get rich, be famous! Well, obviously that's not it. Cutting to the punchline - it's having good, close relationships with family, friends and community.
Wow! I have to admit that for an introvert like me that's a bit more difficult than eating right and exercising. But then, the study does reveal that it's the quality of the relationships that matter rather than the quantity. I've typically invested more energy focusing on a few close relationships with family, friends, and community rather than a whole gaggle. In that respect, I'm at least on the right track. Also, the researcher shares that, destructive relationships have a more significant negative impact on someone's health especially in the area of memory loss. This element also makes relationships messy and complicated both at work and in life. When is it right to quit the company filled with destructive relationships or quit the life partnership that is harmful and damaging?
Relationships are hard; both in work and in life. I've found that having someone to help guide me through some of the difficulties of these relationships can be helpful. Leaning into those relationships, and recognizing that the journey won't always be smooth is also important. Spend 12 minutes listening to this TedTalk and I'd be interested in what you think.