As I wished him “Merry Christmas” he looked stressed and highly overloaded. While we talked he said, “I am very good at what I do and earn a lot of money doing it, but it leaves me dry and unhappy.” I asked, “What makes you happy?” With a puzzled look, he said, “I do not know anymore!”
We all desire happiness. The Bible calls it a blessing. Harvard University researchers may have found the answer for our search for happiness. They spent 75 years researching “What makes us happy and healthy?” The Harvard researchers confirmed that money, fame or material position do not make us happy.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Waldinger, is the Director of this Harvard Medical School study. In his most popular TED TALK, he says that the greatest finding of this study is that “healthy relationships keep us happy and healthy.” Most of us do not achieve healthy relationships because developing them requires time, creativity, and focus on the right people.
What can you do?
Take inventory of your relationships. As you examine the people in your life may we ask you:
- Who are your important people? Important people are your partners as you play your critical life roles. They share your life purpose and values. They affirm you, support or share your passions. Regretfully, we often take these people for granted.
- Who are your teachable people? Those who benefit from your life roles are your teachable people. Because of what you do, they learn, grow or have their needs met.
- Who are your draining people? They are those whose needs are not a good match for the talents you are given and the important roles you are called to play.
“Blessed (happy) is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3 recorded over 3000 years ago