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Unlock the Secret to a Joyful Life: The Power of Strong Relationships with Marc Schulz

Unlock the Secret to a Joyful Life: The Power of Strong Relationships with Marc Schulz

We run towards the things we think will make us happy, only to reach our goals and realize that these goals aren’t as fulfilling as we had anticipated. This is because none of us can accurately predict what will make us happy.


Marc Schulz said that as he got older, he realized that the good life was really in front of us. But what makes a good life? Is it simply identifying our own happiness?

Marc is a professor of psychology at Bryn Mawr College and the Associate Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development (HSAD), one of the longest longitudinal studies of human thriving ever conducted. HSAD has tracked the lives of 724 men and their families from puberty to the end of life since the 1930s. They have begun working with more than 1,300 of these initial participants’ daughters and sons to better understand how early events affect midlife health and happiness. He is also the author of numerous publications and a co-editor of the book “The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.”

In this episode

What makes life fulfilling and meaningful? The simple but surprising answer is relationships. We are more likely to lead joyful, fulfilling, and generally healthier lives if our connections are stronger. In fact, according to the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the quality of our relationships with others can predict how well our bodies and minds will function as we age.

In this episode, Marc discusses his research and the lessons he has learned from the study of adult development. We also talked about the relationship between happiness and relationships.

So I started to wonder: What else is there to know about the importance of relationships? And how much might that knowledge solve some of our most perplexing problems?

All this and more, on this week’s episode of  The Darin Olien Show.

  • 6:59 The Harvard Study of Adult Development (HSAD)
  • 14:55 Is there a struggle to accurately predict what will make us happy?
  • 21:46 Relationships are complicated
  • 23:24 Learning and recognizing that life is challenging
  • 26:20 What was your childhood like?
  • 27: 48 How relationships help us thrive
  • 39:34 The social fitness that you need
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