Research Confirms People with “Purpose” are Healthier, Happier, and Live Longer. Why? – SDP#8

david-by-fireplace-12_30_16

David Perrodin, PhD

HAVE PURPOSE – LIVE LONGER & LIVE BETTER…and SAFER?

 

It is well known that a purpose in life is a good thing to have. An abundance of research confirms that individuals who cultivate a meaningful sense of direction for themselves tend to live longer, experience better physical & mental health, & happier, more satisfying lives.

Listen to this podcast live M-R at 9PM PST on the405media.com

WHAT IS PURPOSE?

In a 2009 study, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) defined “purpose” as ‘tendency to derive meaning from life’s experiences and possess a sense of intentionality and goal-directedness that guides behavior’. Surprisingly, the NIH study also found that this definition was generalized across study participants. In other words, findings didn’t vary by age, sex, education or race!

PURPOSE AND YOUTH

Based on this particularly favorable array of evidence linking purpose with quality of life, many practitioners and researchers suggest that purpose promotes positive youth development. Yet understanding how youth actually go about finding their purpose, and the consequences of doing so within the unique context of adolescence, remain targets for ongoing research.

DAVID’S STORIES of PURPOSE

In this podcast, Dr. Perrodin examines evidence that purpose is an important resource that adolescents can use to successfully navigate challenges and even thrive during this period of the lifespan. He recounts finding purpose in his own life, from when he was a boy working a snow shovel late into the evening with his father clearing out driveways and sidewalks for veterans and widows to fostering community amongst folks attending a free community lunch. Smile as David re-tells an elderly man’s story of how orange juice dissolved metal processing equipment at a factory and pause to contemplate what role a sense of purpose might have in preventing harm to self or harm to others?

A RESEARCH AGENDA FOR LINKING PURPOSE AND SAFETY

David describes a recently-concluded research study that found that high school seniors not only struggled to set career and other life goals, but also didn’t know how to set a goal, such as determining rationale, baseline and how to measure the goal. Dr. Perrodin hints for an agenda that places emphasis on teaching children and young adults how to set goals, and in turn, how to find purpose – a factor David feels is strongly linked to school safety (although, with regret, few studies have examined the link between purpose and safety for any population).

OTHER FORMATS FOR THIS BLOG POST’S CONTENT

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Comment