One of my favourite authorities on the key to living a long life is Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof®Diet. He has spent over $300,000 to “hack his own biology”, working out in the process how to operate best on a day to day level and to live longer. This culture of working out what to eat and how to exercise occupies a great deal of time as the highest priority for many of us. I believe that, although we value our relationships, we don’t place relationships high enough on the list of priorities. At least not as high as we invest in our careers, diet and exercise, or training and self-development for example. To back up what I am claiming I refer to William Doherty, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, who includes “not getting enough attention” is one of the top reasons for divorce.
Robert Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, is known for his direction of the 75 year old ‘Grant Study’. He asks us in a TED presentation,
“ If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and your energy? There was a recent survey of millennials asking them what their most important life goals were, and over 80 percent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. And another 50 percent of those same young adults said that another major life goal was to become famous.”
Waldinger provides an invaluable insight into the result of a 75 year study of 724 men who on a yearly basis were asked about their professional and personal lives.
“…we don’t just send them questionnaires. We interview them in their living rooms. We get their medical records from their doctors. We draw their blood, we scan their brains, we talk to their children. We videotape them talking with their wives about their deepest concerns.”
The result is this: “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” Now I want to compare the idea of longevity in the biohacking sense. A lesson learned in the study was,
“…it wasn’t their middle age cholesterol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old. It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. And good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old….It turns out that being in a securely attached relationship to another person in your 80s is protective, that the people who are in relationships where they really feel they can count on the other person in times of need, those people’s memories stay sharper longer.
I want to show you this statement,
“The 58 men who scored highest on the measurements of ‘warm relationships’ (WR) earned an average of $141,000 a year more during their peak salaries (between ages 55-60) than the 31 men who scored the lowest in WR. The high WR scorers were also 3-times more likely to have professional success worthy of inclusion in Who’s Who.” (feelguide.com, April 29, 2013).
Investing in your relationship in whatever ways necessary or meaningful to you will show a good return on investment with regard to your happiness, longevity and wealth.
A person obtaining a Partner Visa grant is incredibly important to me. I cannot bear the thought of usually hard to find well-suited partners, soul-mates, companions, lovers etc being ripped apart temporarily or permanently due to a government process through the immigration system (minefield). When I consider all of the the information above I see that a life partner, or any family member for that matter, is even more meaningful than I had at first thought. I hope this post reaches many of you who intuitively know how important your partner is and that it helps you to keep investing in your relationships.
You can watch the 12 minute presentation by Robert Wladinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, on TED by clicking the picture below.