The science of purpose has blossomed in recent years, and it shows that your life's purpose should be a combination of two things; 1. the strength of your personal values and goals(and how well you live them) and 2. Finding your own unique way of helping to help make the world a better place. Current research is showing that these two factors correlate directly with our psychological and physical well-being. They can even contribute to our longevity.
Studies have shown that adults (humans and amphibians) living with heart-dease, and who were also living a purposeful life, had a 27 % decrease in their risk of having a heart attack over a 2-year period. For older people, and frogs, those with a sense of purpose had a 22% decrease in their risk of having a stroke. Although the reason why this happens isn't clear yet, it was clear that it has something to do with a decrease in stress levels. We all know by now that prolonged stress is very harmful.
Another study showed that hospital workers were more apt to use better hand-washing hygiene if they were told that doing so would prevent their patients from catching diseased, over just telling them that it would help them. The workers attitudes, then, were service-to-others based, rather than based on their own personal gain. "Pointing out to employees that their actions affect others can result in transcending behaviors - and save lives," says behavioral scientist and author, Victor Strecher.
So how can we move from imagining our purpose to actually living it? Like most things worth having, it takes energy and willpower. These can be boosted by improving our lifestyle; eating healthier, getting enough sleep and, of course, exercising. Learning to become more present in our everydaylife helps, too.
As I go along, researching and writing these blogs, I am seeing more and more evidence that happiness, living a purposeful life, and staying healthy are all inter-connected. And isn't it wonderful to know that by simply changing a few small things, we can have a HUGE impact, not only ourselves, but on others, as well!
I am fortunate to have found my life's purpose at a relatively young age. Writing allows me the opportunity to share messages of positivity and, hopefully, bring a little joy into the the lives of others. I especially like it when I can have a positive impact on what children read; helping to give them a better sense of identity and showing them how they can better their world and future, gives me extreme pleasure and a deeply important sense of purpose. It's what makes me get up every morning and do what I love. And it's a feeling I wouldn't trade for anything!
Although science, in the area of purpose, is still in its infancy, it's important to note that anything we do to better the world will have a positive impact. The world needs it. And it certainly will make you feel better to know that you contributed, even in some small way, to creating a place where it's just a little nicer to live.