Now we know that to live a life with purpose is living a life with meaning. You are working towards goals, using your gifts to do something that you are passionate about that adds value to your life or the lives of those around you.
“The two most important days in life are the day you born and the day you discover the reason why.” –Mark Twain
What happens if you aren’t one for goals? You may be wondering what the big deal is and why you should bother. The reality is there are several personal and health benefits to finding a fulfilling life purpose:
What are the personal benefits of having a life purpose?
You feel fulfilled – you are working towards something of meaning, you may even be doing something for the greater good, this achievement naturally makes you feel like you are accomplishing something.
Having a clear purpose may increase your resilience – your focus on your purpose drives you when times are difficult or you come across a problem.
According to Kashdan and McKnight if you have a purpose you may improve your ability to engage with your work, which in turn increases your sense of satisfaction at work.
You are less likely to be affected by social media. Researchers believe this is to do with being more interested in the future (your purpose) rather than worrying about how many likes and shares you obtain in the now.
Having a life purpose is akin to having a REALLY long term goal – often defining your life purpose helps to develops goal setting abilities and determining a clear direction in life.
What are the health benefits of having a life purpose?
A number of studies show that having a purpose improves your general state of health. From a decrease in heart attacks to increased mental health defining your purpose in life does wonders for your health.
A Japanese study recently showed that having NO sense of purpose in life led to an INCREASE in mortality!!
Another study showed that women who demonstrated a sense of purpose and resilience were able to better tolerate pain associated with heat and cold.
Having a purpose in life even improves mental health! It was found with older adults that those with a life purpose showed significantly decreased depression and suicidal thoughts, according to Heisel and Flett (2014).
Research suggests that people with a clear life purpose are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact a 2011 study found that drug addicts with a purpose in life are 50% less likely to relapse than their counterparts who have no sense of purpose.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
It’s clear that defining your purpose leads to a healthier, happier, stress free you… and it makes sense because every day you are getting up working towards something you enjoy and believe in. If there is stress, it is stress that is offset by the outcome achieved. Every day you are adding value and by doing so you feel better about yourself. So what are you waiting for… grab a glass of wine and sit down for some much needed introspection because next week we look at HOW to identify your life purpose.