When you think about ways to improve health does your thinking default to nutrition and exercise? What if something that has nothing to do with either of those, is already impacting your health, for better or worse?[featured-image single_newwindow=”false” alt=”Sense of Purpose”]Image from Dollar Photo Club Created in Canva[/featured-image]
“Most people wander aimlessly through life, but I’m not one of them.” If you agree with this statement, and some others like it, researchers at Carleton University, Ottawa Canada say that your chance of being alive 14 years from now, goes up by 15%. (1)
Furthermore, it didn’t matter how old the participants were. All age groups experienced the same benefit.
Maybe it’s time to give some thought to your sense of purpose. It can make a dramatic difference in your longevity and overall well-being.
The research is in. Having a sense of purpose dramatically improves health and longevity. What’s not so clear, is why this is so.
Some speculate that if you don’t have a purpose, you’re more prone to unhealthy activities such as sedentary lifestyle, and substance abuse. Lack of purpose can also lead to psychological issues such as depression and suicide. (2)
I would suggest that the health benefits of knowing your purpose stem from the fulfillment, and the peace we experience as a result of pursuing our purpose. See my post The Most Important Ingredient For Health.
Having a purpose in life fulfills a basic human need. We are all created with the desire to be a part of something larger than ourselves. (Ephesians 2:10)
In 2002, Rick Warren published his book “The Purpose Driven Life”. By 2007, the book had sold over 30 million copies. There is obviously something about purpose that resonates with people at a deep level.
Having a sense of purpose in your life means you have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It puts a spring in your step. Not knowing your purpose stifles motivation, and saps your energy.
In order to find your purpose, you must know who you are. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ as I am, then you’re a child of the King of Kings. (Romans 8:15) (1 John 3:10) You’re also his ambassador to the world. (Ephesians 6:20) Your purpose will flow out of your identity.
The Westminster Confession of Faith asks this question: “What is the chief end of man? Answer: To glorify God, and enjoy him forever.” What does it mean to glorify God? To bring glory to God, is to put his majesty on display, for the world to see.
We put God’s majesty on display, when we live out a transformed life before a watching world. We find our purpose when we’re so filled with God’s love, and compassion, it overflows in the form of service to our fellow man.
God’s desire is to transform us from the inside out, in order that we may fulfill our individual purposes. (Romans 12:2) He hasn’t left us as orphans that have to figure out life on our own.
He’s adopted us as his children, and provides direction and guidance. He helps us to put off our selfishness, and raises our awareness for others. (Philippians 2:3) This is where we’ll find our purpose.
Maybe you’ve been told that your desires are evil. There is no need to fear our desires, if our value system is based on God’s word. (Psalm 37:4) God wants to fulfill our desires. (Psalm 20:4) As long as we’re looking through a biblical lens, we can discover our purpose by looking within. (John 15:7)
You must reflect on your desires. Not the selfish ones, born out of the flesh, but the Godly ones, born out out of the Spirit. It’s only when we give our lives away, that we are truly fulfilled. It really is more blessed to give than receive. (Acts 20:35)
If your desire is to earn a ton of money so that you can spend it on your pleasures, you need to dig a little deeper. Shiny, new stuff only brings temporary fulfillment. (Proverbs 23:5)
What brings lasting fulfillment, satisfaction, and peace, is adding value to others. Your purpose will be connected to your legacy. It’s a matter of how much impact you’ve had, on the lives of others.
Collecting stuff that we can’t take with us, does not bring fulfillment, and peace. Our culture confuses this issue, but deep down, we all know this is true.
Ponder this question:
If you could do anything you wanted in life, and success was guaranteed, what would you do? Don’t think about how much it may cost, or what may have to change to ensure a positive outcome. Just dream for a moment….. Whatever comes to mind, is a huge clue to your God-given purpose.
Consider your energy
What activities energize you?
What activities are neutral on energy?
What activities drain your energy?
This is how you know if you’re engaging in purposeful activities. No one does nothing but uplifting activities. However, I suggest becoming more aware of whatever floats your boat. This is different for everyone. Then, begin restructuring your life so that you spend more time on those things, and less time on the things that drain you.
Get Clear on Your Gifts
When you’re operating in your giftedness, what seems easy to you, will not be so easy for others. For this reason, we often overlook our own gifts. Enlisting others can be a big help. Ask someone close to you what they think you’re really good at. Their answers may surprise you.
[Tweet “”Shiny, new stuff only brings temporary fulfillment.” David Sandstrom”]
By discovering, and living your purpose, you’ll find more fulfillment, and experience more peace in life. This will lead to better health.
You can only discover your purpose by looking at life through a biblical lens, and honestly looking at your desires.
Living your purpose will not only bring you fulfillment, it will bring God glory, add value to others, and make the world a better place.
Focus on activities that energize you. Minimize activities that drain you.[/callout]
Yours in Health,
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