What do you think is the meaning of life?
Recent research shows that people who have a sense of purpose live longer — so if you figure out why you’re here, you might even have longer to pursue that purpose.
A Huffington Post piece with the headline, Sense Of Purpose Adds Years To Your Life, Study Finds, says in part:
Researchers studying longevity say those who feel a sense of purpose and direction in life may indeed live longer, no matter what their age.”Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve, can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” said lead researcher Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada in a written release. “So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”
Previous studies have suggested that finding a purpose in life lowers mortality risk above and beyond other factors that are known to predict longevity. But, Hill points out, almost no research evaluated whether the benefits of purpose vary over time, such as across different stages of a person’s development.
In their research, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Hill and colleagues examined data from more than 6,000 participants over a period of 14 years, focusing on their self-reported purpose in life.
I think sense of purpose can mean a lot of different things. Personally, I place love at the top of my list, both loving and being loved. After that, I’d include using my existing skills and learning new ones, as well as expressing my creativity and supporting the creativity of others.
Perhaps focusing on what gives my life purpose means I’ll get to do all of these things for decades to come.