What will make you happy? Oftentimes, people who are truly happy don’t have an answer—they just live life to the fullest and enjoy the ride. However, trying to find happiness when we’re a bit low can seem like a never-ending struggle. The good news is that no matter what ups and downs we may face in life, science says we're almost guaranteed to be happy at two specific points in life.
That's according to research from the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, which found that people are usually most satisfied with their lives at two keys ages: 23 and 69, Well+Good reports. But what makes these two specific time periods most fulfilling for us? It may be because 23-year-olds are right out of college and have their whole lives ahead of them—what freedom! Others may say that those who are 69 are likely retired and have fewer things in life to worry about.
The research itself was based on feedback from 23,000 volunteers ages 17 to 85 who predicted how happy they'd be in five years and then actually reported how happy they were after that period of time had lapsed. Those conducting the study found that the younger participants overestimated how happy they would be as they got older, while the older participants underestimated their level of fulfillment—leaving a U-shaped curve. The ages that showed a peak in happiness were those nearing the extremes of the participant age spectrum, which is where the numbers 23 and 69 come in.
The key thing to remember is that no matter what advances we make in science, no one can predict exactly when you'll be the happiest. We are still the masters of our own destiny and can create our own sense of fulfillment if we so choose. Now go ahead and make your own.