Living Your Life With Greater Purpose

4 min read

Are you living a life of purpose and intent?

Burnout, stress management and mindfulness are very popular topics in wellness these days. At the core of living more mindfully and addressing stress and burnout is purpose. Purpose inspires you to become more intentional about what you do and why you do it, which is why having a sense of purpose is so powerful.

The definition of purpose is ‘the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.’ Life purpose can be quite powerful in the daily decisions you make and the habits you develop. Purpose can guide life decisions, influence behavior, shape goals and create meaning. For some people, purpose is connected to meaningful, satisfying work. For others, their purpose lies in their responsibilities to their family or friends. Others seek meaning through spirituality or beliefs. Some people may find their purpose clearly expressed in all these aspects of life.

Purpose is unique for everyone. One’s purpose can also shift and change throughout life as responsibilities and life experiences develop. Like happiness, purpose is not a destination, but a journey and an ongoing practice. 

Living with purpose may add years to your life and greater satisfaction to your work.

The satisfaction of living purposefully and passionately will enhance everything you do, bringing energy and vitality to all areas of your well-being. Then as you make changes in your lifestyle that align with your life purpose, you’ll have even more satisfaction. Living with purpose allows you to pursue second things or goals from a place of clarity, confidence and intention.

A 2019 study in Journal of the American Medical Association participants who had meaning and a sense of purpose (as measured by answers to questions from well-being self-assessments) lived longer lives than those who had self-reported little to no sense of purpose and meaning. The research team analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study (a U.S.-based, nationally representative well-being study) and found that of the nearly 7,000 people studied, living with purpose led to people living longer. Research also showed that working with a sense of purpose led to far greater engagement, motivation, productivity and retention.

How do you reconnect or find greater purpose?

1. Get curious. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What inspires me?
  • What moves me?
  • What am I most passionate about?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What am I good at?
  • What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
  • What do I have to offer that the world needs?
  • When I let myself dream-even of the impossible – what do I dream about?
  • When I felt carefree as a child, what was I doing?
  • What do others say about me? What skills, talents and gifts do they affirm? 
If you are having difficulty answering these questions, you may need to be more curious. Try new things and be an information seeker. Seek out people who inspire you and find out what they are reading and listening to. These actions can help you reignite your passion and purpose. Be sure to periodically go back to these questions and your current answers to stay connected to your purpose.

2. Shift Your Perspective
Focus more on what you have and less on what you don’t. Developing an abundance mindset helps you combat negativity and shifts your focus to the many gifts you have in life. With this new perspective your purpose in life will become much clearer. Try practicing daily gratitude and changing the narrative of your self-talk. Once you make this shift you begin to see things with a wider view. You will begin to better identify your needs and the needs of others. You can then tie your actions to this greater purpose.

3. Develop Habits that Support Your Purpose
Passion plus daily action equal PURPOSE. One of the most crucial things you can do to live on purpose is to develop high-impact habits. These are the behaviors and actions that align and move you in the direction of your passion and purpose. What habits are getting in the way of your happiness and keeping you from focusing on your true passion? Are you currently working on or setting goals that are unrealistic and not aligned with your beliefs and values?

Journal, reflect and set realistic goals that move you in the direction of your purpose. Aim your goals to develop lasting habits that will support you in keeping healthy boundaries and allowing more life satisfaction.

Having a sense of purpose and meaning gives you that certain zest for life and aliveness that we all desire. Finding more meaning in your work and your goals can transform you. Stop dragging yourself through your day and begin living your life with greater purpose and passion. 

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