Harvard Medical School professor and researcher, Robert J. Waldinger sat down with TEDxBeaconStreet to discuss what makes “the good life,” according to a 75-year-long research project he is now leading. (TEDxBeaconStreet, Photo: Dave Rezendes)
My grandmother once told me this little story that stuck with me. One afternoon at a doctor’s appointment, her doctor moved her large purse to another chair and remarked how heavy it was. “You must be very rich,” he said to her. “I am,” she said affirmatively.
My grandparents lived modestly, still in the narrow two-bedroom rowhouse where she’d raised her family since her husband returned from World War II. They didn’t travel, eat lavish meals or shop at the finest department stores. Neither had careers that followed their passions. (She would have been an amazing teacher, he an exquisite artist.) Yet, she genuinely considered herself rich because she had a husband, children and grandchildren whom she adored.
My grandmother knew what Harvard researchers have since confirmed: Relationships are the key to a happy life.