Meaningful Living - A Sense of Purpose
A Sense of Purpose
A sense of purpose in life helps you to live longer irrespective of your age. So, according to the latest research, it appears that eating your vegetables and having a good exercise programme is not the most important factor in your longevity stakes.
Thinking about this, it makes sense that once an adult has left their work and lost the organizing source of their days, that they are likely to face a high mortality risk, if they also lost their sense of purpose.
This study applied equally to young adults who haven’t derived much pleasure from life’s experience and/or have lost their sense of direction. They are also likely to face a high mortality risk, simply because they will do risky things in order to ‘feel.'
However, the research predicts longer lives for younger and older adults and finding purpose, setting goals for what you want to achieve seems to lead to greater longevity.
How to make your Life more Meaningful & Exciting
If you ask yourself what makes life worth living what is your answer?
If the answer is, “Because I’m here on earth and so I try to make the best of it."
Perhaps you should consider an inward look at the things you do that make it worth living.
Your life involves many different facets; you are not only your career, or hobby, or relationship, or family, neither are you just your behavior nor your emotions.
We are a part of the tapestry of life, and connected by how our neighbour’s weave their cloth and how our loved ones and friends weave theirs, influencing each other as we go along.
We all have all come down different paths in life and therefore have a different experience of life, and if our purpose is lost in feelings of boredom or stagnation, which leads to frustration, anxiety and disappointment, then we must turn these emotions around and use them to our advantage.
From this uncomfortable place, you can decide what you want, even though you may have to start this process by first discovering what you don’t want and extrapolate from there what you really do want.
Finding Life's Purpose
Most studies reveal that those who have spiritual and religious beliefs feel gratitude for their existence and have hope for the future. Knowing that beyond our immediate existence there is something else, allows us to push the envelope and become better people.
Remember life’s purpose is not in owning more things, having more possessions, or what you surround yourself with, it's about what you do.
So let’s look at a few steps to help us find purpose – we are looking for satisfying answers, answers that make us glad to get up in the morning.
Answer the following questions:
- What do you do creatively? This could be writing, to inventing something to forming a non-profit.
- How well do you relate? How well do you create, maintain and build relationships, be it family, friends or colleagues.
- Outreach - what do you do to help? It’s important to lend a hand to people who need it, and in turn you feel worthy and it gives you some sense of purpose.
Follow your gifts and talents, ask yourself:
What comes naturally to you?
When do you feel the best?
What are you doing or experiencing then?
What is Important to You?
Write down a number of things you believe are the essence of how you want to live life. What you stand for, and what principles do you hold highest?
Make another list of the things that give you pleasure.
- What are they?
- How do they make you happy?
Answering these questions will let you know which things influence you on an emotional level.
Appreciate your health.
Don’t only think about your health when you have the flu, appreciate if every day.
Say Yes More
Say ‘yes’ to things you wouldn’t normally consider or would say ‘no’ to. You never know what can happen and follow on from that answer. You could be missing out on some of life’s experiences that really matter.
Make Time for Yourself
Make time for yourself to consider your own reactions and actions.
Dream about the good feelings that you have had in your life, remember them and what you did to get that feeling, and then what you want from life and the how you could reach this dream.
Get rid of commitments that make you miserable.
Time is your most precious commodity use it wisely to make a difference and participate in life.
What Makes Life Meaningful: Michael Steger
Ask and Listen
Be curious about those people for whom you care. Listen attentively and take a genuine interest in what they are saying, as this will bring those people closer to you. Put time and effort in building your relationships and be aware of how very important they are to your identity.
Spend time with positive people that add to your life and move on from those who detract from it.
Don’t stop Learning
Knowledge is power and something that cannot be taken from you. It unlocks doors that strength cannot. You learn from doing things, so no matter your age, master something you are passionate about or learn a new skill. It helps us make sense of our world and find the confidence to face whatever life brings.
When you work on something that you love, it gives you an incomparable pleasure and satisfaction. So just take a risk and broaden your horizon, release the enthusiasm that lies within you.
Find Your Purpose
- “If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.”
It is liberating to find out why you are here, and to follow it through by living it. This gives you all the meaning you will ever require for life, and the energy and drive that wakes you up in the morning.