A new study by a group of British researchers confirm that having “A” purpose (not “THE” Purpose) is the only way to live a long, healthy and fulfilling life.
The paper was part of an ongoing British study of older adults known as the English Longitudinal Study of Aging.
The Results of the Study
Socially, higher worthwhile ratings were associated with stronger personal relationships and with broader social engagement such as involvement in civic organizations, cultural activity and volunteering. (marriage was important but so was regular contact with friends).
From a health perspective, those with higher worthwhile ratings had better mental and physical health. They engaged in more physical activity, ate more fruits and vegetables, slept better and were less likely to smoke.
The new study also followed people over time and found that the more worthwhile they found their lives the more positive changes they experienced over the following four years..
Based on a study that lasted four years, they found that some people that were not super healthy or actively socially engaged, but who had high worthwhile ratings were likely to see improvements in health and social connections by the end of the four year study…ATTITUDE!
My Thoughts on Purpose and Meaning
This shows that having a more fulfilling life works both directions. Having a gratitude mindset and a sense of your life having meaning to yourself and to other people actually creates positive momentum to be healthier and to have more social connections.
Also, going the other direction, your actions to be healthier and have more social connections positively influences your attitude toward you having a purpose and accepting there is meaning to your life, which creates a sense of gratitude…which then fuels you wanting to be healthier and having more or deeper social connections.
This also shows how dangerous isolation is…how powerful loneliness is and how important it is to find your tribe.
All of this confirms…it’s about finding a purpose in your life…not about finding “The” purpose…but “A” purpose. This is a huge sticking point with people and the reason so many are frustrated with all of the “purpose” and “meaning” talk…like the study says, “It does not matter what gives your purpose, it does matter that you find it somewhere
How to Find A Purpose (Your First Job Analogy)
Your first job isn’t your dream job, but it serves a purpose (money) and is your first step into being more independent and responsible (meaning).
Ask yourself this question: What is one thing you are doing in your life that gives you “the feels”?
– Something at work
– A cherished relationship
– Your faith or spirituality
– Picking up trash when you go for a walk
– Asking someone if they need any help
– Keeping yourself healthy and strong
Select one and write it down as your current Purpose…with that in your mind it will allow you to look for or seek out a slightly bigger purpose…subconsciously you will start to see bigger opportunities to define purpose and have a sense of meaning.
So…what do you think? How do you feel about this? Do you have a personal story about finding a purpose? I would love to hear about it…shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Like always, you can listen to any of the previous 150+ podcasts here.
You can also download my free mini-guide on 7 Phrases you need to know to immediately bring more fulfillment to your life…and…