There continues to be a growing body of research to support the impact of purpose on mental and physical health and how it can lead to longer life expectancy. Blue Zones newsletter
Dr. Robert Butler, the first director of the National Institute on Aging, estimated that an ability to define your life meaning adds to your life expectancy. His study found that individuals who had something to get up for in the morning that made a difference to them, lived longer and were sharper than those who did not.
My friend and I recently discussed this issue and drew the same conclusion. We also concluded that, as we age, we frequently need to overcome challenges, either mental or physical, to do that which brings meaning to our life. Sometimes our goals have to change with our abilities. Quilting might take the place of rigorous gardening for instance. As I consider this issue, I’m reminded of Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking. Physical disability need never be a factor as we define and carry out a meaningful life purpose.
Affirmation: I have purpose in my life.
Coaching questions: How do you define your purpose? What gets you up everyday (especially if you’re retired)? If you feel lost, how will you discover renewed purpose in your life?