New research shows that having a sense of purpose can add years to one’s life – irrespective of what the purpose is! It contributes to both physical and mental health, possibly because those with a purpose look after their health better and thus are physically fitter. Furthermore, having a life worth living has been linked to healthy ageing in cultures from Japan to the US. Research shows that both young and old people benefit from having a sense of purpose and larger goals in their lives – it’s not just for the elderly. In essence, finding a direction for your life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help live longer and healthier, regardless of what your purpose is.
Thinking through one’s purpose starts with understanding and defining one’s values. Values that are lived out (as against just wished for) on a day-to-day basis are the core of what makes a purpose statement. Dissatisfaction and stress rise when one’s values are not aligned with what’s happening day-to-day. Understanding one’s values and articulating a purpose statement is not a quick fix, but a slow process of reflection and continual adjustment till one gets the first version. Having a purpose statement helps makes small and big decisions. And, can give an insight into why a person is not at peace – there’s usually no peace when daily activities and behaviors don’t align with one’s real values – and not just the espoused ones.
No quick fixes or easy answers here! However, if you’d like to think and talk through what your values and purpose in life is, and how it’s currently aligned or not aligned to what you’re doing – then feel free to connect on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research data from http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27393057