Looking for a purpose in life? Read on to learn more about how it can make all the difference to your life.
A purpose in life can make all the difference
Your purpose relates to the core motivations in your life, the reason(s) why you choose to get up every day. One’s purpose often influences your decisions, behaviours and goals and can offer you a sense of direction and meaning in your life. For many, their life purpose is related to their profession or career, and having rewarding and meaningful work. For others, it can revolve more around their family, friends, religion or spirituality. Everyone will have their own unique purpose in life and often this will change throughout life and life’s experiences.
At times you may find reason to question your life purpose. This can often occur at times of big change or transition in life, such as an education or career change, personal loss, accident or financial change. These changes can open up vulnerabilities, possibilities, personal growth and questions, which can result in a changed outlook on both life and its purpose.
A purpose in life is linked to a longer lifespan
Research has suggested that not only is a meaningful life more satisfying, it’s also linked to a longer life. A 2010 study, published in Applied Psychology, found that people with high levels of well-being (which involves having a sense of purpose, a sense of control and a feeling that what you do is worthwhile) tend to live longer.
There is also research that links a sense of purpose in life to more positive health outcomes, such as fewer strokes and heart attacks, better sleep, and a lower risk of dementia and disabilities.
Another study done by researchers from Princeton University, Stony Brook University and University College London examined how a sense of purpose and wellbeing can affect a person’s longevity. The results established a link between high levels of wellbeing and life expectancy. Participants in the highest wellbeing group were 30% less likely to die over the study period (8.5 years) living two years longer, on average, than those in the lowest wellbeing category.
How to find your life purpose?
It may sound simple enough, but finding a purpose in life isn’t something that everyone finds easily. Even those with a career, loving family and friends may find that at times they lack a sense of purpose and direction in their lives. So how do you find your purpose in life? There are many soul seeking questions and activities that can help you when contemplating your life purpose. We have listed some of these are below:
- Who am I? – asking yourself who you are can identify your key values, traits, talents and more, that can help when working toward your life purpose.
- Where do I belong? – knowing where you belong can help point you in the direction of your life purpose.
- When do I feel fulfilled? – realising the things that make you fulfilled can directly link you to the things that are meaningful in your life.
- Volunteer your time, talent or money – helping others can often lead directly to your life purpose.
- Listen to what others appreciate about you – you can find greater purpose in what people thank you for, what you are good at, and for your own special talents.
- Read – reading can be a way to find ideas, inspiration and connection in relation to finding your purpose.
- Surround yourself with positive people – identifying yourself through what you have in common with those around you can identify purpose.
- Start conversations with new people – talk to and learn from new people, they may open your eyes to a new cause, company or opportunity relating to your purpose.
- Explore your interests – exploring your interests, the things that you talk about and share online may be the key to your purpose.
- Consider injustices that bother you – many people find greater purpose by seeking to resolve the injustices that exist around us.
- Discover what you love to do – what you love to do can lead to your purpose.
- Turn hurts into healing for others – sometimes what has hurt you can lead you to your purpose.
- Pursue awe, gratitude, and altruism – these emotions and behaviours can help foster a sense of purpose in life.
- Find and cultivate a community – a sense of purpose can be found in those that surround us.
- Tell your story – writing your story can identify what is important to you, what you have been through and more, all relating to your life purpose.
Hopefully some of these tips can help you find or clarify your life purpose. To read more about the above click on the source links below.
What is your life purpose? What makes your life meaningful. COTA Insurance would love to hear from you, tell us your story by emailing us at [email protected].