Pacific Capital LLC

The Good Life Book

We have been making an effort to live our life with full intention. One of our  favorite books in this area is The Good Life by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz. It’s based on an actual 75-year longitudinal study where they have been tracking the lives of over 700 men from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. The research is still ongoing to this day.

The conclusions from their decades of research are thought-provoking. Looking back at our lives as entrepreneurs and investors, we realized that the meaningful relationships we created along our journey led us to a life of purpose and meaning beyond accomplishments and wealth. The research led us back to the fundamentals of life – nurturing meaningful relationships and staying present (we believe that this is the goal and worth striving for). To all of our family and friends, partners, and loved ones who have kept us going and inspired us – this is for you. Here are some nuggets of wisdom we learned from reading this insightful book. 

The quality of our relationships has a profound impact on our overall well-being

Dr. Waldinger emphasizes that healthy relationships, characterized by trust and emotional support, lead to happier and healthier lives. The study’s participants who had stable, loving relationships with family and friends were not only more content but also physically healthier. In fact, those with strong social connections experienced fewer health problems and lived longer.

Contrary to the belief that fame, wealth, or professional success are the keys to happiness, the study has consistently shown that the depth and warmth of our connections with others are paramount.

The importance of emotional resilience in leading a fulfilling life

Life throws curveballs at us, but it’s how we handle them that counts. Dr. Waldinger emphasizes that learning to manage stress and maintain a positive outlook on life can make all the difference. It’s about developing healthy coping mechanisms and seeking support when needed. People with strong support systems tend to be better equipped to handle stress and emotional challenges.

Generosity and giving

Engaging in acts of kindness, whether through volunteering, helping others, or simply being considerate, gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment that money can’t buy. The research suggests that being more altruistic can lead to a more satisfying life.  


Living a good life is intimately tied to a willingness to give and share, embracing a sense of purpose and fulfillment that extends far beyond personal gain.

Lifelong learning & sense of vitality

Lifelong learning is like a fountain of youth for the mind. It’s about keeping your mental gears turning and staying engaged with the world around you. As the study suggests, individuals who actively seek out new knowledge and experiences tend to feel more vital and alive as they age. Learning new things keeps your mind sharp and your spirit youthful.

Lifelong learning becomes even more enjoyable and enriching when you have people to share it with. 

Dr. Robert Waldinger's research reminds us that the secrets to a fulfilling life lie in the simpler, more profound aspects of human connection, personal growth, and generosity. This research serves as a compass, guiding us toward a life rich in purpose, contentment, and genuine happiness.

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