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What’s the secret to happiness? What makes you proud? The answers may surprise you

Tips for a better life—from a happiness expert

By | Alessandra Malito |

Earning a lot of money or winning awards are certainly cause for celebration but what will make people genuinely happy is having strong relationships with family and friends. 

That’s what Robert Waldinger, co-author of “The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness,” found. Waldinger is director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a study of happiness first started in 1938—84 years ago. He also presented a TED Talk on happiness with more than 43 million views. 

In his latest book, Waldinger dives into what makes people happy, and what doesn’t. He discusses what people get wrong about being happy, regrets older people had about their younger years and what to do to have a “good life.” There’s one thing to remember though: “nobody can be happy all the time,” he said. “That’s not something to aspire to. Nobody can be happy all the time.” 

Waldinger spoke with MarketWatch about happiness and how it differs for older and younger individuals. 

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