Great little piece by David Brooks on the ongoing longitudinal study of 268 men who entered Harvard in the late 1930s, a reaction to this longer essay in the Atlantic. The study's long-time director, George Vaillant, says that relationships are key to long-term happiness: "happiness is love," he says. But he has been divorced twice and has troubled relationships with his children: "There was a civil war in the family," says one of his daughters.
Knowing what would make you happy doesn't necessarily make it easy to do.
Many of these men served in World War II, and I was struck by the finding that the more combat they saw, the more likely they were to suffer from mental illness later. Even the best of good wars was a horror for many who survived it.