What drives people to do what they do? The answer to that question is as varied as there are things to do. However, having and living with purpose will determine if you are going to thrive in all aspects of your life.
And according to an infographic from Online College Plan , you will fare much better in life if you have a purpose. Titled, “The Art and Science of Purpose” the report reveals why it is important to have a purpose as well as how you can go about finding it.
For many entrepreneurs, small business owners included, the venture they are currently on is in many cases their purpose. But your purpose goes beyond what you do for a living. Understanding what your purpose is in your personal life also goes a long way to achieve a holistic approach in everything you do.
A Sense of Purpose
The infographic begins by pointing out people with a sense of purpose live longer. How much longer? Compared to people who said they felt aimless, those with a purpose lowered their risk of early death by 15%. And this is across all ages.
Another study from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Survey also delivered similar results. Researchers asked 7,000 individuals over 50 a questionnaire on psychological well-being. They were then followed for several years.
Of those who reported low levels of purposefulness initially, they were 2.4X more likely to pass away during the study. Although you can’t definitively say it was because they didn’t have a purpose, the study concluded a purposeful life may have health benefits.
So, How do You Go About Finding your Purpose?
It all starts by figuring out what gives you meaning. It is different for everyone, but in the report, people said family (69%), career (34%), hobbies (19%), and learning (11%).
When it comes to family/relationships having children and grandchildren was on top of the list for 34% of the people. Others are looking for a partner (20%), friends (19%), and community (7%).
If you manage to fulfill this part of your life, it also helps to have a job which does the same. And increasingly more people are looking for work/life balance  which is fulfilling and purposeful. So much so, more people are prioritizing purpose over pay across all age groups.
Millennials have the highest percentage with 3 in 4 saying they want a job that matters. Baby boomers came in next with 48% and Gen Xers at 38%. But beyond careers and relationships, other aspects of your life also have to have meaning.
Don’t Stop Pursuing Your Purpose
According to the infographic, you can do this at any stage in your life. A quote by Gabriel García Márquez highlights this very point in the report. The noted author says, “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
The recommendations from the report include taking part in contemplative activities (meditation, yoga, and exercise) and creative endeavors (art, music lessons, and dancing). It also suggests continuing your education because it sharpens cognition, fosters a feeling of worldly connection, improves memory, and lowers depression.
Finding your purpose will improve the quality of your life. And whether you are young or young at heart, it is not too late to start looking.
Take a look at the Online College Plan infographic below for more.
Source: Online College Plan