Harvard Happiness Study

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What do Harvard, happiness and an 80 year study have to do with one another? On Friday’s partner call, CEO of Xperience, Chris Suarez shared that the longest running clinical study in America correlated happiness to a surprising factor.

In 1938 during The Great Depression, a Harvard study began with 268 Harvard Men Sophomores. The study was done because they were hoping to discover clues that indicated what led to happy and healthy lives. Harvard followed the men for over 80 years and numerous amounts of data was collected. Researchers have collected mental and physical data and out of the original 268 men, only 19 are living today. Later on, researchers expanded the study to their children of those original men, all in all, around 1,300 people were analyzed. 

The goal was to discover how early life experiences affected happiness later in life. The results are varied; some of the men became doctors and lawyers, while others suffered from alcoholism and schizophrenia. The surprising finding that became clear has to do with relationships. Our relationships and how happy we are in them had a more powerful influence on our health than anything else. No matter what decade the study went into, it kept coming back to relationships. It was a better predictor than social class, IQ or genes. Several studies found that people’s level of satisfaction with their relationships at age 50 was a better predictor of physical health than their cholesterol levels were.

How much time a day do you spend with your community? The challenge is that when we take a step back and look at our world, there is a discrepancy between our work and our community. In real estate, our industry is segmented with people being individual contractors. This can lead to an isolated and unhappy life in the workplace. Community at work is vital and the relationships with the Xperience team matters! Plugging into community will lead to health and happiness. The longest running clinical research study EVER has confirmed this. Who we are in relationship personally and professionally is crucial.