• Happy & Free

Set Your Roots Deep: Form a ‘moai’ for a Happier and Healthier Life

Updated: Jan 11, 2018

Today we draw our lesson in happiness from Okinawa, where moai are important social groups that help people connect deeply to one another and increase longevity and happiness in the culture. This is a great lesson to set our roots deep…to deepen our relationships and social connections.

Key Takeaways

  • Social cohesion is a bedrock of happiness. We know from the research of the Harvard Study of Adult Development that social connections make us happier, healthier, and live longer. This is the same thing that is found in Okinawa, where anthropologists have studied moai--social groups that form lifelong relationships and encourage people to connect and depend on one another. Moai are often described as one of the reasons why okinawa is a Blue Zone, with some of the highest percentage of people who live to over 100 years old.

  • It is the quality of relationships that seems to be important not the quantity. This is why today’s challenge focuses on setting your roots deep: to deepening existing relationships, or to forming those relationships so you can begin to grow and nurture them.

Today’s Challenge

'Lean into' your relationships! Set your social roots deep to build strong relationships and social connections.

  • Write down a relationship that you would like to deepen, perhaps exploring why this would be beneficial to you. Lay out a specific plan doing this. End with an actionable item you can do today to deepen this relationship. Perhaps this is texting a friend to make a coffee date, planning a date for an intimate dinner party, or simply making a phone call.


Good genes are nice, but joy is better: Harvard study, almost 80 years old, has proved that embracing community helps us live longer, and be happier

Dan Buettner, The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest

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