We can be so caught up in the day-to-day commotion of our lives that it's rare we get a chance to step back and look at life as a whole. But psychiatrist George Vaillant has been doing that every day for the last 42 years as head of the Harvard Study of Adult Development.
The study began in 1937 by following 268 Harvard male undergrads, who were deemed "well-adjusted" by the day's standards. It has followed the men through school, marriage, career, parenthood, divorce, illness, and — for half the participants — death.
What has Dr. Vaillant learned? "The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people." "Happiness is love" he says, "full stop."
To see his interview with the Atlantic, (it will make you happy!), read more.