Happiness Challenge: Sermon illustrations on Happpiness

7-Days to Happiness

Back in the 1930s, Harvard University conducted a study of adult development. Tracking their lives from youth through old age, the 724 participants were chosen from a group of Harvard students and a cohort of underprivileged teenage boys living in Boston. At two-year intervals, subjects completed detailed questionnaires encompassing all aspects of their lives. Over the years, many had their DNA sampled, and some even agreed to brain scans, among other tests.

In 2023, the study has broadened to include three generations totaling 1,300 descendants of the original participants. This, the longest-running study of human development, is fascinating, and I urge all interested to search online to read the reports.

The New York Times referenced the study during the first week of 2023 in what they call “The 7-Day Happiness Challenge,”* concluding, “From all the data, one very clear finding has emerged: Strong relationships are what makes for a happy life. More than wealth, I.Q., or social class, it’s the robustness of our bonds that most determine whether we feel fulfilled.”

* The 7-Day Happiness Challenge: Simple steps for a joyful, more connected 2023. New York Times, (online) January 2023

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