What Does It Take to Be Happy?

Champagne Toast (Public Domain)

Editor’s Note: Posting this piece each New Year has become a tradition for us. While some of the participants in the study cited below are likely no longer with us, the lessons they share are timeless. Enjoy!

At the dawn of each New Year, we tend to take stock. What do we want? What are our goals? How are we really doing? Imagine doing that, rigorously, for more than 75 years. That’s exactly what the world’s longest study on happiness has done. Beginning in 1938, generations of researchers have studied 724 Boston-area men (and, later, their spouses) — about half from Harvard and half from the city’s toughest neighborhoods — to discover the keys to a happy life. Happily, about 60 are still with us (at least as of recent years) and still participating in the study. About 2,000 of these men’s children also contributed to the research. We are not spoilers, so you’ll need to watch the video, but suffice to say the answer is not money, or fame, or achievement. It’s something much closer to home.

Happy New Year.

– Al Cattabiani

PS. Along these lines, you might enjoy a lovely documentary, “Kindness Is Contagious,” which we’re giving away, free, here.

Photo Credit: Champagne toast image courtesy of Pixabay.

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Al is CultureSonar's founder. He has always worked in and around the arts. His companies have generally focused on music, indie/foreign film, documentaries, and holistic living. Over the years, he has released well over 1,000 titles, including many Oscar, Grammy and Emmy winners. Although playing guitar has never been his Day Job, quite rightly, he’s been gigging steadily for years — and is an avid fan.

5 comments on “What Does It Take to Be Happy?

  1. Joan Piscitello

    This is just what I needed on New Years Day! I have seen the video previously, but life is so full of noise that I need to be reminded. Thanks, Al. And thanks for “Kindness is Contagious”– looking forward to it.

  2. Kim Jensen

    Al, This is a fabulous reminder on the last day of the year! Will be sharing.

  3. Tom DeAngelo

    Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.

    Happy 2022!

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