As I mentioned last week, I have been doing more exploring of the Blue Zones. I promise this isn’t a rehash of my earlier post.
This week, I have been focusing on one of the Blue Zone Power 9 lifestyle habits: Purpose, or ‘why I wake up in the morning’. According to research, knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to 7 years (!) of extra life expectancy.
My new book, the Blue Zones Challenge: A 4-Week Plan for a Longer, Better Life, has a ‘purpose check-up’. I scored on the low end of the top category. Yes, I live purposefully, but my score could be improved.
Note: I have all of the Blue Zones books 😊.
Since 7 years is nothing to sneeze at, I have been doing some exercises to help me better define my sense of purpose.
Looking back, my purpose was a bit of a ‘no brainer’ when I was working in public health. I knew my job and my role. Public health is all about protecting and improving the health and well being of communities. My jobs in public health were generally aligned with that purpose, and I was on board with that.
I also think my purpose over the years was to build and nurture our family.
Well, I am retired and the daughters all have their own families to nurture.
I have a friend, who IMO, has a clear purpose – she is someone that people can and do count on, myself included.
So now what about me?
I find I gain a sense of purpose when I have fun and connect with people (young and old). My days go much better when I have some small fun thing to look forward to and when I can connect with someone, in addition to my spouse (thank heavens for him!). I think that these might be some of the reasons I like to travel and why I like to blog.
It has been challenging to plan fun and make connections during the pandemic. Fortunately, I am OK with a Zoom connection, although I wouldn’t want to spend the entire day Zooming! Also fortunately, I don’t need to connect 24/7. One or two daily connections will do nicely.
Looking back at my 40+ years in the workforce, I think the fun I had and the connections I made, along with a sense of purpose, were the main reasons I generally liked my jobs and maybe why I continue to do some work even now.
By being more intentional about my purpose, my daily goal is to find a little fun and to make even a small human connection.
A man can stand anything, except a succession of ordinary daysGoethe