My first guess would have been along the lines of a size 8 figure, a home that is paid for, a million bucks in the bank, good friends, frequent trips abroad, and healthy prospering children. Right? Wrong.
My second guess would have been timing. Whether you’re leaving a job, a husband, or a dinner party, knowing when to exit and when to begin anew is everything.
Johnny Carson knew when to leave. The Kardashians don’t. Andy Rooney worked until the end. So did Steve Jobs and Bob Hope.
I was raised with the notion that seeing things through was the commendable way. Life taught me differently. Surely timing has got to be the secret to happiness! Wrong again.
So what is the secret to a happy life?
A Harvard Grant Study came upon the answer: love.
That’s it? Love? THAT’S the secret to a happy life?
Evidently it is.
While the study did not include women (huge mistake from the get to), it followed 268 male Harvard undergraduates from the classes of 1938-1940 for 75 years. The conclusion they reached was a slam dunk. To love, be loved and be open to love is the key to true happiness in your life.
This explains why divorced people are so unhappy (I speak from experience). They are at the end of a promised love that didn’t deliver. Few things are more brutal on the psyche.
The study concludes that relationships are what really matter in all our lives. Is there anyone out there who didn’t already know this (other than my ex-husband, of course)?
It does not surprise me to know that if a man has wealth, power, health, and a private helicopter … if he isn’t loved, he isn’t happy. It may, however, surprise many a man.
Women get this understanding easier than most men. The need to love and be loved is a primal need in most of us. The goal can never be squelched, no matter how many bad relationships we have to go through to find it.
If love is the answer to a happy life, I’m more than halfway home. I am not a wealthy woman by any stretch of the imagination, but I do wake up every single morning happy as a pig in slop (You’re welcome for the visual). I end each day the same way.
I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened. Love found me despite myself. I was just open to it. Color me lucky.
In an unofficial study of my own, love IS the key to happiness and timing has a lot to do with it. Close behind is the ownership and loving of wonderful pets, good friends, happy kids and a lifetime supply of chocolate brownie ice-cream.
After all these years it’s nice to know that in the end, the Beatles were right …love is all you need.