Lecture (Level 2) – What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

by Robert Waldinger

a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and Zen priest.  He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest-running studies of adult life ever done.  Dr. Waldinger is the author of numerous scientific papers as well as two books.  He teaches medical students and psychiatry residents at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and he is a Senior Dharma Teacher in Boundless Way Zen.

First preview the vocabulary below.  Then do the exercise by first reading a single question and then listening for the answer.  When you hear the answer, pause the video and answer the question.  Then read the next question and do the same thing.  If you get the answer wrong, then go back to where the answer is given and listen again.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  


survey:  a list of questions
millennials:  the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s
lean into:  work hard at  (idiom)
hindsight:  memories of the past
20/20:  perfect
turn out:  result  (idiom)
exceedingly:  very, very
fall apart:  end  (idiom)
drop out:  don’t continue  (idiom)
dries up:  ends  (idiom)
distracted:  doing something else
moves the ball down the field:  continues to make progress  (sports idiom)
persistence:  continuing and not quitting
participating:  being part of the activity
tenements:  poor, overcrowded apartment houses
alcoholism:  a dependency on alcohol
schizophrenia:  a serious mental disorder
founders:  people who started the study
generated:  made
toxic:  poisonous
isolated:  apart from other people
quality:  the amount of excellence
conflict:  fighting, arguing
octogenarian:  someone in their 80s
bicker:  argue
mood:  the way someone feels generally
magnified:  made worse
count on:  depend on  (idiom)
wisdom:  deep knowledge
reaching out:  making a connection  (idiom)
family feuds:  bad feelings between family members
toll:  cost
grudges:  hatred for past wrongdoings