What is the 'True Secret' to Happiness?

Updated: Feb 25

We all dream of having a happy life though sometimes happiness can be so elusive. But what makes a person truly happy? Is it because of money, fame, or power? Harvard Study of Adult Development found an answer to the question.

For almost 80 years of following 268 male students, the study revealed that love is the only thing that matters to live a fulfilled life. What makes a person truly happy is having a close relationship with the people he/she loves: spouse, family, and friends. Even achievements and successful career doesn’t matter, being contented is. According to Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant, there are so many things people thought mattered when it comes to happiness when, in truth, don’t.

Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant, study director from 1972 to 2004, writes: “There are two pillars of happiness. One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”

Another study said that a good relationship prevents depression. Students who shared the same thing; strong ties to friends and family and commitment to spending time with them, were recorded to be very happy and has fewer signs of depression. There is indeed a reason why the saying, “No man is an island” exists. Human as we are, the longing to love and be loved is strong.

5 Factors in Achieving Relationship Goals

We have always heard of the term Relationship goals. I look for the definition of that term and I found out that it is a phrase that refers to an admirable relationship. It doesn’t have to be a relationship towards the opposite sex but also between family and friends. How do we achieve that kind of relationship? Here are three important factors in maintaining a close relationship with our partner, family, and friends.

1. Respect. We are all unique. Every one of us has flaws and has our own set of weirdness. We need to accept and respect each other's differences.

2. Honesty. Be with people whom you can be your true self with and who won't sugarcoat things with you.

3. Trust. "Trust is built slowly. Trust is destroyed quickly. Trust can make complex things possible. The absence of trust can make simple things impossible. Trust powers relationships, businesses, nations. Trust is as precious as it is fragile." -The Stoic Emperor

4. Understanding. Keep those people who are not afraid to tell you what they think but help and understand you anyway.

5. Understanding Personal boundaries. No matter how close you are with someone, personal space is still important. Know when to be sensitive to what the other person wants.


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