In our universe, there are trillions of galaxies, most of which have billions of stars. Galaxies range in size from dwarfs with just a few hundred million (108) stars to giants with one hundred trillion (1014) stars.
In life, there are choices to make. Having a Purpose in Life ranks 20th* among 21 Key Health Factors for 2021. Research shows that people who know their life purpose and why they wake up in the morning live up to seven years longer!
Dr. Robert Butler, a Pulitzer Prize winning author on productive aging, led research on the correlation between having a sense of purpose and longevity. From 1955-1966, his National Institute of Mental Health study followed healthy people between the ages of 65 and 92. It showed that those who expressed having clear goals or purpose lived longer and better than those who did not.
Dr. Butler had a life purpose. He founded the National Institute on Aging (NIA) within the National Institutes of Health and the International Longevity Center. Both of these organizations focus on educating people on how to live longer and better. He lived until age 83 and worked up until three days of his unfortunate death from acute leukemia. A couple months before his death in 2010, he published The Longevity Prescription; 8 Proven Keys to a Long Healthy Life.
Do You Have a Life Purpose?
Do you have a life purpose? It does not have to be big — nothing is big compared to the size of our universe! Take a few minutes to think and focus on what you care about.
What is meaningful for you to achieve? Do you have the passion to achieve it? Who do you want to help? Are you willing to overcome failure and occasional embarrassment to get there?
What do you consider your purpose in life? Go ahead and write it down. It’s fine to have multiple answers.
Are you actively working towards achieving your purpose each week? If not, how can you adjust your life to be more rewarding? Take time to think through what you are willing to do differently each week.
Ideas to Find Your Life’s Purpose
If you did not come up with a good answer for your purpose, consider volunteering for a cause that you care about. People who volunteer have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and depression, as well as lower health care costs. There are multiple studies on volunteering which also show improved mental health benefits. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities near you, check out this website.
If volunteering isn’t your thing, these life coaches may inspire you:
- What is My Purpose in Life? By Success coach Simon Bailey
- 7 Strange Questions that Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose by Mark Manson
- Find Your Ikigai (Life’s Purpose) by Jessica DW. See her thoughtful diagram to help you evaluate ideas.
*So why did we rank Having a Purpose in Life only 20th among Key Health Factors for 2020? Simply so people would notice it more. Everyone notices the last item on a list. 🙂
As your reward for reading, you can actually buy a Purpose, which turns out to be a gentle cleansing wash. 🙂 They also sell Purpose moisturizing lotion and soap too. Seriously, someone is making a living with this idea! Why not reward them for providing a daily reminder to focus on your purpose? 😉