Why Working with Purpose Can Lead to a Healthier, Happier Life



If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

You’ve heard that saying, right?

And when you heard it you probably thought, “Gee, sounds nice, except for that whole thing called Reality (capital R) that’s standing in the way.”

We get it. Easier said than done. Especially because, let’s face it: most of us don’t know what we love to do. We fell into the rat race of life before getting a chance to really explore what makes us tick. To find our purpose.

So how can we build a work life that revolves around it?  

The truth is, most of the time, purpose isn’t something we stumble upon accidentally. Purpose is something we have to take time to create. Or at the very least, search for. Something else to consider? Purpose isn’t always stable, and it doesn’t always revolve around a single ideal or quest.

What it does require? Commitment.

Following your purpose and building a career around it takes time and dedication, but the investment has the potential for a big payoff. Read on to discover the benefits of living and working with purpose, and how to start focusing on yours.

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Purpose improves our health

In the last few years, research on the relationship between purpose and health has increased. The New York Times recently published a piece that included some of the phenomenal benefits of living purposefully:

“Having purpose is linked to a number of positive health outcomes, including better sleep, fewer strokes and heart attacks, and a lower risk of dementiadisability and premature death. Those with a strong sense of purpose are more likely to embrace preventive health services, like mammograms, colonoscopies and flu shots.”

As more research is conducted, we suspect that even more health benefits associated with living purposefully will be revealed.

Purpose can make us live longer

Having a purpose that drives us forward can help keep us healthy. So it only makes sense that placing purpose at the center of our lives (inside and outside of work) can also prolong our life expectancy.

One recent study followed participants over the course of their lifetime, and the data showed that those who had a strong sense of purpose were significantly more likely to “out-live their aimless peers.”

What’s more surprising? The data also showed “that those who reported feeling a sense of purpose in their work saw an increase of $4,461 in their annual income, and $20,857 in their net worth.”

Anyone else feeling like throwing up a Vulcan salute? Live long and prosper indeed! 

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Purpose helps us prioritize what matters

It’s easy to lose perspective when it comes to the daily grind. We’ve got bills and deadlines and families to tend to. Who has time to think about purpose? At best, we start thinking in terms of work-life balance.

We begin to ask ourselves: How can we make time for everything? And this becomes our measure for happiness.

But the “work-life balance” narrative leaves something to be desired. It can become a bit of a mindtrap. It positions work against life, and life against work. 

Instead of thinking in such binary terms, what if instead we sought to think in terms of living purposefully?

Committing to your purpose not only simplifies the choice of where to work, but it can help us prioritize how much to work.

Instead of asking how to make time for everything, we can instead find an answer to a more practical question: which of these things are most important?

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How to discover your purpose

We like how the guys at Roadtrip Nation say it in Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life: (—Not getting a kickback for this plug, btw):

“In its most basic form, this process [of creating purpose] involves letting go of any misaligned ideas about yourself, defining who you are at your core, and then becoming the next version of yourself (plus starting over when things get off track).”

To start exploring who you are at your core, check out this quiz on the Roadtrip Nation website. It will ask you about your interests, and what your life might look like if you start to build your life around them.

The following resources can also help you determine how to put purpose at the center of your work and life: 

The Art of Workby Jeff Goins

The Happiness of Pursuitby Chris Guillebeau

The Renaissance Soulby Margaret Lobenstine

Find Your Whyby Simon Sinek

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Let us help you on your journey

At re:purpose, purpose is our thing. Our specialty. Our bread and butter. (Kinda have to commit if you name your company after it.)

Our goal is to match talented, purpose-driven people with innovative, purpose-driven tech and startup companies.

Not sure what your purpose is yet? That’s okay. We can help you in your journey.

Sign up with re:purpose today for free. One application gets you in front of hundreds of startup founders and companies located in and around Detroit, including Ann Arbor.

We’ll talk to you about where you’ve been, and where you’d like to go. Then, we’ll match you to a company that can help get you a few steps closer.

By: Tara Taylor of re:purpose

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