There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.
— Mark Twain

There was a TED talk that came out two years ago that has become one of the most influential pieces of content in my life. The talk, given by Robert Waldinger, explored the Harvard Study of Adult Development, an ongoing study that has lasted over 75 years researching the lives of 724 men as they progressed through life. The study found that to be healthier and happier, regardless of our life paths, we must not obtain wealth or notoriety as we all tend to think, but instead, we must cultivate relationships. This talk has truly influenced my life as  I strive to be happier both now and in the future and for that reason, I thought I would share the incredible talk with you in audio form, provided by

If you don't have time to listen or watch the talk on, here are my takeaways:

  • Social connections make us happier, help us live longer, and offer us the opportunity of a healthier life. 
  • Quality relationships where we feel safe and protected can defend against memory decline. 
  • A marriage relationship doesn't have to be perfect 100% of the time, but as long as you feel you can really count on each other, it's the type of relationship that brings health and happiness. 
  • Fame, wealth, and/or high achievement don't equal happiness. Instead, it's our relationships with friends, family, and our community that make the true impact in our daily and lifelong happiness.

So how can we cultivate relationships for happiness and health?

We start by taking a long-term investment into others. It means spending time together. Picking up the phone for a chat. Instigating a date night. Learning something new with one another. Setting aside time in our busy lives of chasing to sit with a friend or spouse or family member. It can be hard to push outside of our lives as they are now and take an interest in another person but the benefits and the relationships gained far outweigh any original discomfort. So the question then becomes, how do you cultivate the relationships in your life? 

Share your thoughts on this talk and how you cultivate your relationships with me in the comments on Facebook and Instagram. I'd love to hear from you. 

Photo by John Cobb on Unsplash