WWL>Topics>>11-21 1:10pm Angela, Men's happiness

11-21 1:10pm Angela, Men's happiness

Nov 21, 2013|

What men need to do to live a happy life. We’ll talk about a 75 year Harvard University study about men…covering everything from personality types to sex to relationships. And, the big surprise, the #1 cause of divorce. Our guest: Brent Lambert, who wrote the article about the Harvard study.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Hello everybody and happy Thursday. I know where your mind is in mind is where mine is too which is the saints game. And that's okay because in the second hour were going to be talking to two of my heroes. Of who work here at WWL. Christian and Bobby TT Bob T Bob sweet tea bought. And the Morgan talking about the saints but this first hour. We're going to be talking about men. And I just wanted to say I just saw that the saints kicker Morten Andersen is now -- semifinalist for the NFL hall of fame. Which is so appropriate. And I and I have always loved him have been very open about it I just think he's a wonderful human being. And I'm thinking than about me and this is. An hour about men and most importantly if you're a man I hope you're listening and if year old woman who loves a man I hope you're listening to. Because our hour is about what two men need to live a happy life. It's a wonderful question and one that's been addressed in a study that took 75. Years to complete. Harvard University psychiatrist Georgia valiant has written a book on the study called triumphs of experience. But today we're gonna talk to the author of an article on the study. Brent Lambert and Brent I cannot thank you enough for doing this I am fascinated by this study I think it is probably. -- -- -- long overdue in fact it's the first study like this. That will go over. 75. Years of a group of men's lives to really look at their development. And something we can all learn from. Correct. Yes that's right. It quite. Extraordinary statement started it in 1938 at Harvard. They got a group 268. Male undergraduates together so roughly around 1718 years old. And they've been tracking them -- and that that the 75 year. Nobody they've been -- update every now and then. And some of these men are now and then Chinese and and it still ongoing and draconian wrote a book triumphs of experience that you mention due in 2012. Sort of giving. Summary of where these men around. I know and when these men sort of it's 505050. Year mark. They didn't want to update. Now these men are are are up there and the they've looked at everything on the quantum fires that determine. The -- it happened both of these men. Most. Broader sense they're looking at what is that that contribute most human worship. It went in and in particular and they looked at many things psychological anthropological physical traits. Personality type acute drinking happens. Family relationships. Right down to. -- detailed. Detailed -- Descriptions that are detailed analysis of these -- body I mean they've looked at everything and -- First of all it was wonderful for them to volunteer and secondly for them to to stay with it. For all of these years I mean they're really contributing something to our knowledge. About it. Not men and certainly their happiness I think if if I stop tendon on the street right now instead okay what makes you happy. It would be very superficial it would be great -- and ready sex over would be making more money if we that's not what this is about this is. A much deeper. And I think powerful thing. Two to make yourself think about the various stages of our lives you're talking about it sort of midway point to when they're in the fifty's -- -- a book was put out and then. I'm doctor valiant didn't pick it up. Until well actually he was what 32 years old so he was actually younger than some of the guys now in the study. And he's been doing -- he's been. It had been in it and now for about thirty years. OK look let's look at that some of the findings are not one of the network that just a -- oh wow. Is that those who do well in old age may not have done great in middle age wreck and vice Versa. If they'd have more there's more. Productive for example marriages. Those begin to be more. Men begin to be more content in America after the age of Stephanie. And that's not something they would ever known in 1938 with these kids were 1718. And that. And the one thing that you were mentioning before that. That if you stop on a street you you get -- better you can -- but what makes them happy. But out of as we move our -- which case happiness and the meaning of happiness changes for each each one and for these men in particular. Problem. They learn that. Another. Temple -- Physical agent pasture at the age of eighties determined less by hereditary. Trade. Then it was by habit it's formed prior to age fifty. Concede that to me is also mind blown right it is. One thinks hereditary is the driving force and really what they're saying. If you kind of kept up with yourself and you really instituted exercise and that sort of healthy living in your life and quit smoking -- under center. Then that's what's dictating it. Absolutely and this is not just about genetic problem I what I my impression is what they're getting -- it is. At the genetic which is we all -- apart genetic traits that. For instance there's some fascinating study done not identical twin if the one who's been healthy and one rapid and healthy and -- people that that. They have the exact same genetic makeup but you can tell by the people who have a popular out. That they've that they've kept their genes. Not only -- their genetics. But that generics are traits are urging the can be activated whether you're from smoking or from drinking or perpetrator of bad food. Com or. Even where you live people who live by freeways tend to have their higher rates of optimism. It's pollutants in the Eric Thatcher. But at the -- suggest that we threw an unhealthy like that we can activate genes that can cause cancer. Even just. Extra aging. It is acceleration of -- well. And stressed the Arctic. Going back to that that original one of of those who do will old age may not have done green in middle aged Milledge and vice Versa so. Somebody who a man who is rocking along and enjoying his life through middle -- and everything seems to be in order. Whether it's personal career whatever health. That may not dictate that for the rest of his life. Where -- it. Another one that I went well this is fascinating is recovering from a lousy childhood. Is possible. And I think all too often we all know people who can't. You know extraordinarily bad experiences in their childhood and it does carry with them. Some preventing happiness some preventing flourish. Punishment but. To say that you can. Recover from an extraordinarily bad thing is what we need a year. Right and that they've discovered that. Recovery from allows -- child as possible. But another interest thing element to that memories of happy childhood -- her lifelong source of strength. And I think that. That that's really powerful because I mean that you're here as your listeners. Not just men and women as well. The fact that you're giving your children. The structure of the -- today. Sort of innocuous memories it would seem. In your presently but if if these memories that sort of they win. Without for the rest of our -- I mean my earliest memory whereas when it was fine. I'm 38 now but whatever five -- watching my way home being built. With my family if they -- building it. And -- -- I remember being in a practical thing on top of that hill and at the time you have no idea about it's going to be the most. That they're the very first memory that you are and that parents. That's that's a powerful reminder for parents because. You never know what it. That important to its proper what's going to sort of be burned into the memories of a child it could be. That the most. Invisible moment and it will stay with them but so childhood memories are very where. Worked very powerful I -- fire for happiness. Happy childhood but unhappy childhood. Are not necessarily determinant in. The flourishing. And these. What to do men need to live a happy life what -- need to live a happy life. And what we're learning from 75 years study. Out of Harvard. Is a lot we're learning a lot and were talking with I'm so appreciative. And Brett Lambert who's done a huge article on this study. Again thank you for being with us. -- let -- go back a little bit just for clarification. This was started in 1938. It was 268. Man. And they were hand picked correct right. And you know some would would question what is it it was a really representative. Both men at that time. They were all white they were all bright. How how enthused to have -- they respond to that. There wasn't necessarily respond. They tried to as best they could together. That. Why didn't cross section off the ball. They needed to be close contact with these young men are. At least that and as many years that they were -- Harvard. At the beginning of the study so. You would that it definitely. A good point to -- -- as part of the control aspect of that beat them. I think it would've been a little. Typical two to get very kick started. Where. From across country point of view but. That. That is something that I think any researcher with with two take into consideration as being out. Rated -- few questions about. But at that and I think it's exactly what you're saying. This was running today it would be. Perhaps done differently. But at that time it was that they were available that they had committed to it. And certainly they have committed to it now in some cases for 75 years that's huge. And not all of them and I think people think maybe go to Harvard you have like the success that was not the case at all. There were some who did not and Graham who led unhappy lives where so in that way perhaps there's little more of a cross section up. And I think 268. Is. The the fairly strong number. I think for even more powerful results you'd you'd. Wanna focus on that something has to work was around 3000 but. That was perhaps they didn't even realize panel. Powerful. This study what does that mean you you start to study when your when your are burdened. You -- You have a lofty ambitions but. I mean and from my perspective I I I read a lot of studies I can -- Looking for from material along along -- that this. Sort of -- but this was the most. Incredible. Idea I've ever seen -- -- all my years as an amateur. We we left the last segment talking about that we would discuss the influence. Of mothers. And fathers on these men. And if he was sort of elaborate on that. Right to -- when. In the book billion writes that. He can focus that most of its attention in the book the number one -- -- that he focuses on his warm relationships. How would do it to. The man. How did with the warm relationship of these men contribute to their happiness. And he. He he focus so much on. It sort of raised a few red flag there and critic. Sort of question why he was focusing so much of the book. -- -- The state of the study about it but he on one relationships so even -- and help. Started to question why even do it we went back over the study over the data. And it it was right there black and white so he. Not only did it confirm his belief that war relationships. Part of the number one pick but the terms are. Worse cursing happening but you're dealt -- double down and what he's learned what that's. Of the 58 men who scored highest on the measurement of warm relationship. They earned an average. 141000. A year more during the peak salaries which is between the ages of 5560. To my -- in the yes then the 31 minutes scored the lowest in the warm relationship. Quotient. And the met with the highest warm relationship scores were also three times more likely to have professionals expect worthy of inclusion and and that in the who's who. But with regards to moderate the relationship with these moderate with the mother committed with a warm Charlton relationships with their mothers took. Home 87000 more for years and a man whose mothers were and carry. And but I extension men who had poor childhood relations with the -- where. Much more likely to develop dementia when they're older and that. That's another factor and it's not just were not just target but how old is your relationship between mothers of pictures sellers -- both treatment of -- And what about fathers. They -- government without -- Late in the professional line that these men. Boy had relationships with their mom but not for father's. Where that is with the effectiveness that work but what the repercussions of fathers. These men are -- child relationships with regard. Led to lower rates. Adults anxiety and greater enjoyment on vacations. Increase. Like satisfaction at the -- of ethnic pride. And but those. It's interesting because that the the results that. Sort of led to greater. Pershing with regards to the father's. Were different then he factors than a warm relationship. With with the mothers and what -- led to. Which -- -- interest. You know that these are real people in this book of course you don't use real names. But there was one I read and it was a very sad one and it was he did have a very difficult childhood with not a lot of parental month. And and yet. You know stayed true to them until they died and relatively late in life. Finds happiness by getting married but I mean wait late in life. And it just said to me that again sort of the promise of you can have a lousy childhood and I'm jumping all over here. But there can be happiness in your life if other things are kicking in but I -- by the time I finished reading about that man I was so happy for him. That even you know in his sixties in a nursing facility he found blocked. Yeah I mean look at happen -- at any time and -- -- Was in effect. The number one finding out of all this down all of this down all the years of study. It came down to think the biggest conclusion was that happiness is -- and he used the words full stop. Happened at the -- a full stop and where Yugoslavia I've -- at the annual. And also manifest physically your body. And and and -- if you love your life what flash which is there which is something very sort of use as my own personal. 75 years in the making Harvard releases its ethics study on what men need to live a happy life. Spot and are learning a lot and I'll tell you something that also sort of went whoa. Was the issue of alcohol. And it sounds like the author was even shocked by it. Right it's. Together with cigarette smoking Baylor and alcoholism prove prove to be the number one greater cause morbidity and death. And they also learned that above a certain level of -- intelligence doesn't prevent the damage to the -- Smart you're still. Destroying yourself. But all and that -- it was the number one cause of divorce here on this. I -- and -- and quoted alcoholism is. If the disorder a great to destructive power of the single most destructive. Element in all of these manslaughter. The one that over to force to and all respect to -- -- with -- there for the most part. But it's it's it's -- the the stronger. Indicator. Unhappiness. -- unhappiness. Of unhappiness. Now mr. million took her doctor Bryant took over in nineteen what 66 took over the study and he started doing physical exams as well. At some point I wonder if he saw of the deterioration of some of of the people through alcoholism. And if there was ever any discussion on trying to get help. You meaning you do to intervene in. In the spent by the -- question I'm not -- -- hope I hope -- work. In the days. But it just it was just their interest in Geneva. With all the things are looking at that just sort of reared its ugly head big time. That the force of alcoholism and there their unhappiness and in in some cases the destruction of their lives. I thin -- chemical found to be. Strongly coupled with neuroses and depression. Which is that they also make clear come after the alcohol abuse rather than before. Let's talk about intelligence. The you know income no difference -- IQ. So we didn't make indifferent to -- -- 150 IQ -- 110. Yeah it did not dictate how much money you made. You know which are not aware of what's really you'd think because -- Q who have our. I mean there -- some. Sort of debate as to how accurate they are and the don't -- include. Creative -- I mean the good idea to think creatively not really. Taken. Too seriously -- At least in in this study and I think I think we pay a little too much attention to -- department or the pick that I cute in that 110 of 115 arrangement with those acute. Vs men. With IQ's over after fifty there's really no difference in powers. It was more influential was what we talked about earlier the warm relationships in -- different territory -- and that would be in your life as a child. And then throughout your life. Right and I think that get. -- humans -- social creatures and when you start to. Turning inward and you you don't go to. Poker party or you don't go to that dinner and you choose to -- more and more room to yourself. You start your social skills start to actress and is if you're not social. You are actually doing it not to damage to your. Friendships simulations are also damaging your body and there's enormous. That indicate that the people with a stronger social network are the ones with the rocket fire. And I'm not talking about the online social network although there could be something to match that. Men who had the warmest relationship with the friends and children and parents and the family and they're working colleagues that. All of that was with the number one. Factors that determine which meant Grossman topic which meant about the -- Well that the man that I was talking about earlier who was profiled. Who we've had a not great parents and -- stay close to them. And then they passed a firm. And then he his life started to change he didn't have a lot of frontier. Was kind of what you're talking about right now -- not not a hermit but it was not social. And then something that perhaps the deaths of his parents. Whatever triggered where he went to church ultimately met a woman there and then indefinite retirement places loses one life and then goes to the net. But it did change his life the the tapping the warm friendships. -- and I also think an important. Discovery in the thirty where it. I mean it's no surprise that it's the very first thing you learn in any psychology class that that. Everything all psychological trauma which comes to regret. And what they've learned in this study of men who had. Learn how to. Come to -- with regrets that whatever age that they were the ones who. We're. -- -- were given access to greater greater levels of happiness. Wonderful lessons learned I got a text and somebody asked the questions. On how to wind minimize regret. It's a great question. That is that a major question and at the end of the day our relationship with -- Comes down to -- -- Bought the become. Emotion and because then that emotion becomes action and if you can. Find yourself. Getting down or getting angry. -- you are sort of mulling over -- regrets. You you really need to shut that down and that. That that that the huge problem or are so many people and it's not necessarily always conscious of the often times unconscious I mean sometimes when I'm in the most. Sort of mundane moments -- -- more traditions there's a that you tend to. Suddenly you you -- your brain who is thinking about something so guess what there was an incident or someone that you're an argument with them. Before you know -- angry -- end of for most people. -- didn't -- that he couldn't be larger scale issues whether writes I'm angry that I eat didn't. Take. More direct action with my father Patrick that it that your corporate market and if you can sort of kept that tea can catch up by the detailed report turns into an emotion. And then turn into action then. You're you're better off. And at this you know. It is a skill that's exactly right now it's it is a very strong thought process. One has to have. I do want to ask about because this was -- Brought a smile to my face of the study showed that most conservatives shut down their sex life at 68. But most liberals go into their eighties. So sort of what is the hat. The they don't know I mean he acts. Why is that that the conservatives. Are happy. Worst -- part then the liberal. If he that every -- because he could find and they think that they have no idea why it waited. But it is fascinating I mean -- and again this -- a very very comprehensive study but for for the -- come up. A sex life definitely put. Liberal or conservative. In just made me. Right and I think are our relationship with politics. Is is a huge factor in how we perceive the world around -- and if you or someone. In the Tea Party and you have they've miserable. Perception of the world around you you might -- -- -- affects what we're. -- Building another study on that. Let me ask you what do you think is the most important part of the state. I think the most important part of this study is. Realizing that has. These boys are first engaged with this study through the years they were looking into the future. And everything that -- That that the entire. Remainder of their -- what future base happy -- my future predetermined. If it is my hand. It was all about pondering the extent. To which their future is predetermined or open and how -- can shape. 44 men in at the end of the study aged. This certainly that's switched to the path. And or for these men. It was. All of their energy was focused on how to -- Sort of overcome my regret that my parents how to -- take the parent in my own hands and reshape it after the man. In the end. And the second part of their life their -- was. In very much awaited their future and their relationship with their -- Have a direct impact. On how -- aged. What was there a conscious. Awareness on their part of especially a little later in life. I want to be happening. -- I'm I'm sure to some extent I mean every human being. But as the years go by I think you know on and -- my own self but one looks -- I wanna be happy on enjoyed these years ahead for life has happened and there have been unhappiness suspect we have to move on at some point and in these coming years I really want them to be happy. Almost taking an overt and action. Absolutely and if you are. There -- clues. And you are reading this book. And Betty and you see yourself you know he's -- -- -- these patterns in yourself. And it does require action it does require you to put on. And clothes and get out of trouble and the surround yourself with other people. That's how old you effect change in your own lives and if at -- -- someone people who are naturally social naturally have warm relationships. You who you might think yourself that if it's easy for them they don't have to the separate but -- don't have to work -- -- We don't necessarily know that I mean wired them people. More social than others. -- we know is it about it it's. Huge force in contributing to our health and if you are recruit. You really you really have to get out there publicly -- as well if you can't find the love your life if you're sitting -- -- -- Washington opens. We are talking about men and happiness I want to think Brett Lambert so much further for the whole hour. It is a book about the 75 year study at Harvard. The name of the book is triumphs of experience and and Brent I think you said you said it best at the conclusion of all this what we're just five little words which is happiness is love. Full stop. OK again thank you so much and I just hope everybody's happy and I hope that we're going to be happy tonight gang. When the saints beat the -- Yahoo!. And we're gonna have a whole show on that coming up but first let's go to. Chris Miller in the newsroom.