Some people want to live longer because they think death is the end and this is scary. We here at Awakenings Institute, like the majority of people in the U.S., believe we all have a soul that transcends death. This means we need a greater reason for living than mere survival.
Greater Purpose Has Far-Reaching Effects
According to research published in Psychological Science, having a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer. It definitely will give you more energy and enthusiasm about being alive.
Results of the research were based on data from 6,000 participants focusing on their self-reported purpose in life, along with other variables that gauged their positive relations with others and their experience of positive and negative emotions.
After tracking participants for 14 years, approximately 9 percent of the participants had died. Those who had died had reported lower purpose in life and fewer positive relations than did survivors. Moreover, greater purpose in life consistently provided the same benefit for younger, middle-aged, and older participants throughout the follow-up period.
With having a purpose in mind, living healthier longer makes sense if you value your body-mind-emotions as a vehicle for growth and transcendence. This means playing your part well, and growing into the better, larger version of yourself.
For ourselves, we've explored life purpose in depth, starting first with our own transformations from teacher and architect to holistic professionals, then with clients and students.
To put it simply, your purpose is your "why," or reason for living. The word "why" presents an interesting question. Why do you want to live healthier longer?
What makes you rise up and celebrate? What makes you say, "Yes"? What makes your heart sing?
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
-- Antoine de Saint Exuper.
The Life Purpose Formula
There are many myths about life purpose. They include thinking you need to have all your ducks in a row before starting. In other words, you need not be perfect (which is impossible anyhow) or be paralyzed by fear of making a mistake.
But in any event, you can use your heart connection further and explore your purpose or "why," we created a simple formula:
"The Purpose Formula"
Your Strengths and Talents (the ones that are exciting to you)
+ Your Passion and Heartfelt Joy
+ The Value You Add to Others
= Your Purpose or "Why"
If the thought of having a purpose sounds too big, take heart. It can be anything. A woman who wants to be a supportive part of her grandchildren's life has a purpose that's just as valid as someone who wants to change the world in a dramatic way. The most important part is noticing what makes you feel most excited about being alive.
The ultimate goal here is to enjoy the journey because you are doing what you love to do. In sum, by expanding your horizons, you are improving the world. On a large scale, you could even say that as you evolve, so does the world and universe, of which you are a part.
This article was created as an excerpt from The Holistic Approach to Living Healthier Longer: A Golden Opportunity for Body, Mind and Spirit. To learn the latest research, practical wisdom and insights to live fully and optimize your life, you can find the book on Amazon.