I’ve seen a lot of discussion recently about having purpose – especially after leaving a main career. Exploring one’s purpose can be a meaningful and enjoyable endeavor. Research in Psychology Today shows having purpose for those 50+ provides many benefits:
- Promotes your physical health, mental health, and happiness.
- Offers a variety of other benefits as well, including better sleep.
- Provides a sense that your activities are worthwhile (a key to healthy aging).
Everyone’s journey is unique. Transitioning from a main career to what’s next brings up the question, “What’s important to me now.” For many of us in our earlier years, raising a family, working and generally dealing with life was enough purpose. By necessity we became good at reacting to what came our way – from kids who needed extra help to jobs that changed or ended. Later life provides an opportunity to focus on purpose outside of one’s immediate family/work.
Being older creates a wonderful opportunity for a life reset – to establish or refine one’s purpose and life meaning. We get to decide what kind of purpose matters as we move ahead. For me life purpose means looking at how I can positively impact the outside world in some way. It could mean serving on a nonprofit board, mentoring a student or being a grandparent or caregiver. Or, perhaps it’s about being an artist of some kind, building community, or advocating for a cause or candidate.
If you haven’t already, do check out The Greater Good Science Center that has articles, podcasts and other resources on the topic of purpose – and other aspects of cultivating happiness.
I help clients look at personal values and beliefs that inform and clarify what’s most important to them as they move ahead. Purpose is but one part of the later life planning puzzle. Balancing all aspects of life is an ongoing effort with many course corrections needed along the way! As a transitions coach, I enjoy helping clients explore what’s next during times of change. Give me a call to see if I might be a good match with what you’re looking to accomplish.