What are the most important life goals? Of the recently surveyed millennials, 80% said that becoming rich was an important goal. In that same population, 50% believed it was important to become famous. We are constantly being reinforced by society to work hard and achieve greater to have a good life. But, is that truly what will give you a good life?
1) Social connections are good for us and loneliness is not. Those who are more socially connected to family, community, and friends are physically healthier. People who are more isolated find that they are less happy and health decline earlier.
2) It is the quality of the relationships and not quantity that is important. Turns out that those living in conflict without much affection are worse off then getting divorced. People in good warm relationships stayed happier even when they experienced more physical pain.
3) Good relationships protect your brains as well. Those in securely attached relationship with people you could count on stay sharper longer. Relationships don't need to be smooth sailing all the time, as long as they felt that they could count on each other, that's what matters.
This is not rocket science or anything novel. So then why do we ignore this? We are humans and human nature is wanting quick fixes. Relationships are hard work, not glamours, and is an on-going life journey. People who fared the best over their lives are also those who leaned into relationships with family, friends and community.