What makes a good life?

"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

What keeps us healthy and happyas we go through life?If you were going to invest nowin your future best self,where would you put your time and your energy?

These are important questions -- priority setting, life-shaping, forward-thinking questions.

They are worthy of consideration and, as this TED talk demonstrates, worthy of 75 years of research. The results are probably in keeping with what we know in our gut is true: Relationships keep us happier and healthier. Connection and community trump all.

In this talk (jump to minute 3:14 if you're short on time), you'll hear three key observations.

  1. Loneliness is toxic
  2. It's not the quantity of relationships which matter, but the quality.
  3. Good relationships protect our health and mental capacity.

But the part I love most about this talk is Mr. Waldinger's observation that relationships are inherently messy, unsexy, life-long things which require nurture. There are no shortcuts.

In a world which encourages us to "lean in" to our work more, it's great to know the data for a happy life is about leaning into relationships.

Remember this when you are deciding how to prioritize your schedule.