For the last 75 years, a group of scientists have been following the lives of hundreds of men who come from the slums of Boston and the chambers of Harvard University.
The goal of the study has been to figure out what makes people happy.
The men being studied have seen it all.
War. Riches. Sickness. Love. Poverty. Health. Bankruptcy. Leadership. Addiction. And so much more.
Once the participants got to their 80's, the scientists went back to the data to see if they could find the data points that were most likely to predict who was going to grow into a happy, healthy 80-year-old and who was not.
The findings were surprising. Are you ready?
It wasn't money.
It wasn't status.
It wasn't cholesterol levels.
It wasn't living location, education level, or number of kids.
The people who were the most satisfied with their relationships in their 50's were the healthiest at age 80.
The relationships you cultivate now - with your spouse, your friends, your coworkers, and your children - are the gateway to happiness now, and in your old age.
I can't speak for you, but sitting in a small home surrounded by people I love as I breathe my last breath sounds far more attractive than sitting in a large home surrounded by a pile of money and a lawyer.
The best insurance you can have for your long-term happiness is to invest in creating quality, meaningful, deeply-connected relationships.
So, plan a vacation, play some games, go for a walk together, turn off the computer, pick up the phone and make a call to say hello, plan a date night.
Where you invest your time and attention will determine where you see the return. If you want high returns in happiness and health, invest in relationships.