Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Finding "Life Purpose" Benefits Older Adults & Society


2050 is "the year in which 20 percent of the world’s population—2 billion people—will be 60 or older," reports Trend Magazine, a publication of the Pew Trust.org.  It goes on to read, "We are becoming a world in which life expectancy at birth is 76 years old ... Yet having added more than 30 years to our life expectancy, we don’t have a vision for what to do with those added years."

Some research indicates that with extended lifespan, defining one's purpose, not only benefits the individual, but society as a whole.

Excerpted from the Greater Good Magazine,

Researchers are finding strong associations between having a purpose in life in adulthood and better physical health and well-being down the road. Their findings point to the need to foster purpose in older adults, especially in those who may find themselves adrift after children move away or post-retirement.

Not only could encouraging a new purpose in life result in happier, healthier midlife adults, it could motivate older adults to use their gifts for the greater good—thereby benefitting us all.

Does it matter what kind of purpose we pursue? The answer so far is yes—if you are older.

Those who were purposeful beyond the self said their lives were filled with joy and happiness.

Connecting people to volunteering can help build purpose ... a study where randomly assigning older people to tutor schoolkids increased their feelings of generativity in comparison to a control group. Plus, it benefitted the students, too/

To help focus your search for purpose, the above essay added: 

The key things to think about are: 
  • What are you good at? 
  • What have you done that gave you a skill that can be used for a cause? 
  • What do you care about in your community?” 

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