When you wake up in the morning, do you think to yourself, “I’m so excited, because today I get to… (fill in the blank)?
I have teenagers, and on occasions I hear the following proclamation, “I’m bored!” Usually said out loud to the world in general, with only one part (unsaid) that is directed at me: “…and what are you going to do about it?”
Boredom, idleness, and lack of motivation can often be linked to a lack of purpose, according to Richard Leider, author of The Power of Purpose.
I was struck by series of interviews Richard made of a group 65 and older. Each was asked what they would change about their life if they could do it all over again. The resounding response: a life with purpose – they wanted their time on this planet to matter, to have made a difference.
Robert Byrne once said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
Do you have one?
Living with purpose is more than just mustering motivation to get through daily tasks like grocery shopping, getting your car repaired, or preparing your taxes (yes, tax season has begun – sorry for that painful reminder). More than getting a manicure or “9 holes in” before noon.
Real purpose gives meaning to your life and others. In fact, I believe it is “other” centered: perhaps a purpose that supports your community or helps improve another person’s life. Even a small, but deliberate act, can have purpose:
- Spending time with an older neighbor – who may be isolated
- Serving meals at a local food bank/kitchen
- Responding to a friend’s personal tragedy
- Volunteering at a community, hospice or senior center
There are so many needs and fewer hands to meet them. And according to a study conducted by Rush University Medical Center, living with purpose can extend your life.
If you have identified a meaningful purpose – go for it with gusto. If you don’t, get one.
One place to start may be AARP’s new online tool, Life Reimagined. It can help you discover your unique gifts and explore new possibilities for the road ahead. And there are others. The important point is – get started!
Strive to live with purpose. It can help change, sustain and bring joy and happiness to your life – perhaps even while helping others.
Photo by: godserv’s