George Vaillant, the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has followed more than two hundred men since the late 1930s to find what makes for the happiest and most fulfilling lives, concluded, “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”
• The “Very Happy People” survey assessed the top 10 percent of very happy people and found that they “were highly social, and had stronger romantic and other social relationships than less happy groups.”
• An empirical study of well-being among sixteen hundred Harvard undergraduates discovered that the greatest predictor of happiness was not GPA, SAT scores, family income, gender, or age, but social support.
• National surveys find that when someone claims to have five or more friends with whom she can discuss important problems, she is 60 percent more likely to say that she is “very happy.”
David Murray, The Happy Christian