Too often we fall in tasteful illusion that once we achieve the conventional goals; buy a house, start a family, settle down, our lives will have naturally been sorted for us… But what happens next? If one were to find purpose in their vocation, a reason for them to get out of bed, then retiring in their ripe age and staying home already invites the shackles that bound them to bed. However, know this, even though the promised respite of relative old age seems hollow, one is never too old to find new meaning and purpose. In fact, with age comes the wisdom for one to find their possible calling.
A 2019 study, published by JAMA network, discovered that a sense of purpose is conducive to leading happier lives as well as promoting a sense of well-being amongst adults aged 50 to 90. And the best part is, it does not matter what this purpose is, the rule still stands as long as there is one.
One step towards finding a simple purpose is first to maintain health. Staying strong and healthy not only allows one to perform daily activities but also instils a sense of independence and confidence in one’s physical abilities. Eating the right foods, taking 30 minute walks every morning, performing a bit of Tai Chi — get your body moving!
But not only does your body need training, your mind too! Creative activities such as drawing, calligraphy, music, dancing, reading, etc. can all provide a sense of purpose for many. Try creating something, write a story, a song or create a visual masterpiece. Imprinting your identity through the various mediums of art is a sure-fire way to create satisfaction and happiness.
Another way is to make meaningful contributions to your community or even simply to your family and friends. Acts like creating a DIY present for your grandchildren or even simple acts of kindness to your spouse, friends or strangers can go a long way. According to a study conducted by the University of California, showing compassion towards others can safeguard against feelings of meaninglessness. Leaving a positive and kind legacy to the world or simply to your family may be a meaningful guide towards a current purpose.
A good read, ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist’s account of his spiritual journey during the Nazi concentration camps of World War 2.
Article by Jaren K. Y.
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