Harvard Study Reveals Secret to Happiness


Researchers at Harvard looked at the lives of more than 700 people since 1938 and here’s what they found:

Happiness is about connecting with people and strengthening relationships.  

The study discovered people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory problems even when those relationships were stressed and difficult at times.  You can watch the Ted Talk here:

What Makes a Good Life?


How Brexit Darkened the Future of Every Young Person in the U.K. 

      Brexit Darkens the Future for Youth

      The old folks blew it.  Sorry, there’s no other way to say it.  The Brexit vote to divorce the E.U. was won by those with little to lose – older, secure, firm in their determination to have the cherished Kingdom of old that didn’t join other countries to prosper.  It also wasn’t particularly warm to immigration.  
      Instead the old Kingdom fought other nations, took their wealth, imposed rule and in doing so, became a dominant force in the world.  The England of old was something to be dealt with, that’s for sure.  But that was then.  Leadership today embraces the world and forges relationships with other countries for one main reason – to benefit economically.  Somehow, enough Brexit voters missed that point.  

      Ask Walmart, or McDonalds or Apple, or any corporation.  As much as you may hate them for their focus on the bottom line, that focus includes a wide-angle lens on world markets and it provides jobs.  Yes, some of those jobs are in Asia and some of those jobs are simply not the jobs most people would want.  But a great deal of this international corporate wealth and power is operating in the U.K.  It’s a money and jobs hub.  

      The financial center role is as powerful as the Britannia of old.  There is no need to take over African countries and islands anymore.  You do money deals instead.  It’s much less bloody.   At least three dozen giant corporations have revenues well in excess of most countries.  Corporations are power.  If you don’t welcome corporate power and provide access to markets, you have no power as a nation.  The modern U.K is a civilized place with very reasonable tax breaks and it works for corporate America.  While it’s clear there’s inequity in distibution of that wealth, the bottom line is, there is a share of the wealth to be had.

      If you are a young person in the U.K., you may detest the salaries paid to corporate CEOs, but you are very likely to consider a job within a corporation.  You may also be very happy that you can consider working in many corporate operations throughout Europe because you are part of the E.U.  But now the door to Europe has been closed, and the international corporations are re-examining  whether they even want to have large operations based in London.  

      So when the older folks in the U.K. voted to divorce their trading partners, they really screwed over young people and their access to E.U. jobs.  The irony is, younger folks don’t generally trust corportations.  But show me any young person who wants to live in poverty.  They need jobs and their job market has been stolen away by the satisfied older generation. 

      The sad thing is, it was starting to look so much better.  In 2013, over a million young people in the U.K. aged 16-24 were unemployed.  Corporate investment and recovery from recession brought that number down to 621,000.  Quite a feat. Now, there is a good chance the U.K. will be plunged into recession again.  Jobs will disappear, and it will be the younger, poorer generation that feels the pain the most.  

      They will be stuck on an island that has shut out so many opportunities for bright and talented young people.  Those young folks may have been slightly wrong about corporations, but they were right about the elitist ruling class, the ones who decided to plunder futures in the name of isolationist thinking.    



      The Science of Being Happy

      I’m excited to offer my new book, The Science of Being Happy on Amazon.  It’s a plan you can use to make your brain happy.  This was a lot of fun to write. I’ve re-written scientific findings to make them understandable and blended the results into an entertaining narrative featuring personal experiences.  The end result is 10 rules to guide you as you navigate the road to more happiness in life.  Buy it here.

      Kiss, don’t look.

        When you pucker up, it’s just natural to close your eyes right?  Did you ever wonder why?  Well, researchers tell the Sunday Times it’s really a matter of how the brain works.  If you left your eyes open when you kissed, your brain would be overwhelmed with too much information.  When you kiss, don’t look, keep it simple and enjoy the tactile moment!  Your brain will thank you.  

      It’s True: Retirement is Good for You

      An Australian study shows retirement is good for you.  A study of seniors showed they increased physical activity after retirement and reduced bad health habits.  Researchers at the University of Sydney found on average, sedentary time decreased by 67 minutes a day.  Seniors became more active and tended to examine things like diet and negative habits like smoking.  Those who improved their lifestyle most tended to have retired from full time work.  This study confirms my personal observations.  I can honestly say I’ve never met a retired person who was unhappy with retirement, in fact most are busier than ever – and loving it. 

      Being Generous Can Boost Your Health

      If you want to be healthy and avoid disease, try giving a little.  Research by University at Albany economics professor Baris Yoruk seems to confirm that if you are charitable you are less likely to be sick.  Yoruk analysed tax data showing charitable donations and found that increased allowable deductions for charitable giving were linked to increased health in households that gave more.

      He found that only 0.8 percent of the charitable group in his research reported poor health.  36.6 percent reported excellent health and rates of heart attack, cancer, high blood pressure and other diseases were lower.  Among those who did not give, 4.9 percent reported having poor health and only 20.5 percent reported having excellent health.  It seems those who give shall recieve a life with fewer medical issues.

      Posted by Steven Parr

      Want to be Creative? – Just believe it.

      A study by researchers at the University of Maryland shows there’s a simple key to being more creative.  Just start believing you’re creative.  Study authors Denis Dumas and Kevin Dunbar, from the university’s Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, asked participants to imagine themselves as either an “eccentric poet”, or a “rigid librarian”.  Participants were then asked to do tasks indicating levels of divergent thinking.  Those who imagined themselves as poets displayed more divergent thinking, which equates to more creativity.  Writing a book?  Imagine yourself as a highly creative, slightly eccentric person!

      Post by Steven Parr