If you’re like me, then discovering meaningful life goals that foster your sense of life purpose takes time to evolve.
And it’s not just us. Psychologists have studied how long-term, meaningful goals does in fact develop over the span of our lives. They’ve also concluded that living a worthwhile and meaningful life is fundamental to human flourishing.
Discovering your life purpose takes time
Researchers of the study, Steptoe and Fancourt, showed that it’s also related to a variety of social, economic, and health factors. They believe the sense of living a meaningful life, “may be particularly important at older ages when social and emotional ties often fragment, social engagement is reduced, and health problems may limit personal options.” Other similar studies have also concluded that a sense of purpose is related, over time, to living longer, developing fewer age-related disabilities, decreased rates of cardiovascular disease, and a healthier lifestyle.
A healthy life purpose for oneself
In his book entitled, Life On Purpose, author and behavioral scientist, Victor J. Strecher reveals that discovering one’s life purpose can alter one’s life path creating a positive impact. He says that living out your life purpose and working to make a positive difference in the world can lead to psychological wellness and markers of physical health and longevity.
Back when I was deciding my career path, I knew I wanted to help people. My mother being a typical loving, nurturing Filipina nurse was definitely an inspiration in choosing my college major. Obtaining my degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science led me to becoming a Certified Clinical Prosthetist. Working with my hands to build prosthetic limbs and custom made braces for patients with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions is a fulfilling career. But for me, it just wasn’t enough.
I decided to resign from my full-time job at UCLA Medical Center was to provide prosthetic care services for those who can’t afford the high cost of prosthetic devices.
I thought about all the people in the world who couldn’t even afford to eat, let alone be able to pay for a prosthetic device that could cost tens of thousands of dollars. It just didn’t seem fair. I wanted to help. I began to realize that I could live an even more meaningful life by serving those who are really in need. It’s one of the reasons why I decided to move to my father’s home country of Thailand. I had a desire to treat patients who had very little money and even less resources to proper medical treatment. I wanted to be a giver and carve the path to a more meaningful life.
Living a meaningful life grants us with higher life satisfaction
It’s been shown that people who live with a life purpose, or have established meaningful goals which relate to helping others, have a life satisfaction that is higher than those who did not have a life purpose. I believe that helping others is part of my life purpose and I could attest that it has most definitely increased my personal life satisfaction.
It’s pretty clear that feeling a sense of life purpose is associated with improved physical and mental health. Studies have shown that having a sense of purpose in life not only increases the quality of our lives, but may also help us to live longer. Getting involved with community service activities is also linked to living longer. By giving our time to help others on a regular basis helps to enhance our meaningful life purpose. At the same time, we can create a positive impact on the people we serve during our short time here on Earth.
A meaningful life worth living
Helping others and doing more good in the world is an important aspect of any meaningful life that is worth living. The sense that one is living a worthwhile life has been linked to just about every aspect of our lives, not just our health and wellness. Another recent study of older adults leading a meaningful life at older ages found that the more worthwhile they found their lives, the more positive changes they had experienced in the following four years of their lives. Things like social functions, psychological and emotional experiences, economic prosperity, sleeping better, and more quality time doing other activities.
The power of having a life purpose and living out a meaningful life is definitely a healthy and wealthy life worth living.
A purposeful connection
Do you feel the desire to help others understand by carrying out your life purpose? Are you looking to connect with other people who share your vision of helping those who have suffered? I would love to learn more and connect with you here.