When we talk about meaning in the greater sense, we talk about our purpose — the feeling of belonging to and serving something bigger than the self. In other words, our superhero motive — but perhaps on a smaller scale.
Blue Zones are places in the world that are home to the most centenarians — people who are living over 100 years old. There are 5 Blue Zones in the world. In these well researched areas of the world, purpose has always played a major role in well-being and the resulting extreme longevity.
According to Richard Leider, author of “The Power of Purpose,” the process isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Leider has spent three decades researching and writing about purpose, and coaching people to find their deepest passion.
Gifts + passions + values = purpose. Gifts are your talents — not just what you’re good at, but what you LOVE to do. You’re not going to get up in the morning to do something you don’t like with as much energy as something you do like.
Second, what are your passions? Curiosity is a key ingredient of purposeful life. When you’re using your gifts on things you feel passionate or a deep curiosity about you feel purpose.
The third is values. Values include the environment where you’re doing what you’re doing. You need to be in a healthy environment — not just a physically healthy environment, but also a relationally healthy environment. Within the same company, you can work within one team and with one boss and that can be a very good fit for you — and you can work with a different boss and different team and feel it’s toxic for you.
The starting point is to spend your time doing things you care about, and from that, find a larger sense of purpose in the world.
Finding your sense of purpose doesn’t necessarily have to be through your career either. It could be found in your hobbies, the volunteer organizations to which you donate your time, the garden in your backyard, or watching your family/pets grow.
Of course, our main blockage is time — and busyness. Technology usually replaces human contact and those purpose moments.
And if you really pause, there are purpose moments in every day of the week — every hour of the day — where you can have the purpose be about you, or the person that you’re talking to.You could even do Richard Leider’s Test as a jumping off point — and start to live life with purpose and flourish.