How do we live a successful life?
(from mojo blog) It’s high graduation season—the time when Valedictorians and VIPs rifle their mental files for Something Significant to say about new beginnings and the quest for the good life. This week on The Things That Matter Most Lael’s radio interview with Faith and Culture contributor Dallas Willard explored how we can have reliable knowledge about success. The interview began with questions about an essay in Atlantic Monthly. Journalist Joshua Wolf Shenk was allowed access to the archives of The Grant study, a long range Harvard research project that asked, What Makes us Happy? What should one do to live a successful life?
A team of doctors, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and psychiatrists followed 268 of the brightest and best and most well adjusted Harvard sophomores (including JFK) to document the scientific answer. But the baffling variety of outcomes of these lives shows just how elusive the scientists found the answer to be. David Brooks summarized the findings in the New York Times: “A third of the men would suffer at least one bout of mental illness. Alcoholism would be a running plague. The most mundane personalities often produced the most solid success…There is a complexity to human affairs before which science and analysis simply stand mute.”The study offered one major scientifically quantifiable conclusion (more...)
For more on Dallas Willard's book, click here