I’m choosing to begin my 2018 by examining happiness—choosing it and what it takes to simply be happy.
What is our purpose? What is our calling? Knowing what gives our lives meaning and purpose is a key component in long-term happiness and satisfaction. Then, we need to have the courage to pursue it in our life’s work. However, most of us have not experienced a structure or a platform for exploring and figuring out what it is that adds meaning and purpose to our life.
Articulating our purpose or calling seems elusive. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore Purpose. Please join me with curiosity.
This is part 1 in the 3-part series on Purpose by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Having a purpose provides context and a direction for all of your efforts. Click To Tweet
Uncovering your life’s purpose can be likened to embarking on a treasure hunt where new paths unfold in mysterious and surprising ways. Are you ready to become curious, to see what you will uncover in order to live a purposeful, well-lived life? To begin, you need only to be willing and curious.
Knowing why you’re here, and who you want to be, isn’t a part-time job. The challenge is to live out what you stand for, intentionally, in every moment.
— Tony Schwartz, author
It is commonly known that people enjoy being engaged in meaningful work. Humans are, by nature, a passionate species, and most of us seek out fulfilling experiences.
Having a purpose provides context and a direction for all of your efforts, and it’s a chief criterion for “flow”—the energy state that occurs when your mind, body and entire being are committed to the task at hand. A flow state occurs when you are leveraging your strengths and aligning your strengths contributions with your work. Flow turns mundane work into completely absorbing experiences, allowing you to push the limits of your skills and talents.
However, many of the people I talk to struggle with finding direction and meaning for their life and work. Why is that?
On some level, everyone wants to live a purposeful life. Yet, societal pressures to achieve wealth and prestige are distracting. There are indications, however, that this is changing. Just as Gross National Product (GNP) fails to reflect the well-being and satisfaction of a country’s citizens, a person’s net worth has little to do with personal fulfillment.
Here are some of the benefits of having a sense of purpose other than the emotional and psychological ones. For example, having a strong sense of purpose can help you to live longer.
- A 2009 study of over 73,000 Japanese men and women found that those who had a strong connection to their sense of purpose tended to live longer than those who did not.
- Additionally, in his study of “Blue Zones” (communities in the world in which people are more likely to live past 100), Dan Buettner identified the factors that most centenarians share, one of them being a strong sense of purpose.
- In 2014, researchers used data that tracked adults over 14 years and found that “having a purpose in life appears to widely buffer against mortality risk across the adult years.”
In my coaching practice, many of my clients have not had the opportunity or taken the time to clearly identify what they desire and what truly matters most to them. This is one of the areas we’ll explore together. It’s challenging to plan for personal fulfillment without knowing your strengths, core values, and your purpose.