What Makes Up Happy? — The Atlantic

March 3, 2010

Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.

I found this account of the Harvard study fascinating, though I believe there’s no universal answer to the question posed, as you may find suggested here. For example, the answer for me includes a liberal application of Labrador which may not work for you. Still, this piece is well worth reading.


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