Finding purpose and happiness is key to an enriched and fulfilled life. But while some people have clearly defined their reason to get up each morning, don’t be discouraged if you’re still searching.

We know how important purpose can be, as it provides a sense of direction and feeling that there is meaning to life. It can also lead to more positive health outcomes, fewer chronic conditions and less disability.

Yet people want more out of life than the absence of illness. Having a purpose can greatly contribute to your overall well-being and contentment.

Benefits of living with a purpose

Research has discovered that having a purpose in life may correlate with resilience and social support, which are both seen as central to successful aging. This can include promoting a positive response from negative occurrences, reduced depression and helping a person establish a positive life balance.

Studies have found that having a purpose helped people maintain their function and independence as they grew older, measured by their grip strength and walking speed, which are signs of physical ability.

Other benefits include:

  • Increased longevity
  • Lower risk of disease
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Proactive in taking care of health
  • Better impulse control
  • Engaging in healthier activities
  • Less stress

Finding your purpose in life

If you are searching for your “why,” creating the right environment for discovery is often key. Consider these suggestions to help get you started:

  1. Reach out to others

One of the best ways to find and live your purpose is to spend time with others. Reaching out to those who may be in need, whether to provide support or friendship, will also benefit you as well.

Where to find opportunities? Look to organizations where you could volunteer your time and talents. You might also want to consider senior centers, hospitals or long-term care communities where there may be many who are lonely or could use encouragement.

  1. Ask yourself what you were meant to do

Some people already know the answer but because of family responsibilities or a lack of opportunities, you may have found yourself unable to live your purpose or work in a field that supported these goals. But it’s never too late to start.

If you feel that you were meant to be a teacher, counselor, to work with children or help people discover a new world through books, follow your intuition. Look for opportunities to share your gifts with others.

  1. Practice mindfulness

Learn to be present and appreciate the small joys in life. In today’s busy world it’s easy to lose track of your aspirations and what’s important. You may want to create a daily routine that begins with meditation, yoga or a morning walk. Pay attention to what you see and hear.  

These actions can help you become more aware of your life and the world around you. If you haven’t yet discovered your purpose, you may find it presenting itself if you can clear your mind.

  1. Look to your work or start a new career

If your career didn’t fulfill your life’s purpose, this may be the perfect time to pursue work that will. After retirement and the children are grown, you may now have the opportunity to do the work you love.

Many retirees begin a second career but it doesn’t need to be a full-time endeavor. Look for chances to work part-time or even volunteer so that you can honor your purpose.

  1. Be creative

You may discover your purpose in the midst of creativity. Don’t perpetuate any beliefs that you’re not creative. Each of us has a source and spark. It may just be waiting to be uncovered.

Consider how you could tap into your inspiration. Could it be drawing, painting or sculpting? Or would writing your life story or trying your hand at fiction or a children’s book be the key? Maybe you’d like to create a masterpiece in the kitchen. The choices are endless.

  1. Leave a legacy

Considering what gifts you’ll leave behind is a great way to define your purpose. It might be contributing to the happiness of others, sharing great knowledge or being the person that others can rely on.

The role you play in life is an important one. Do you offer spiritual insight? Are you the one who always brings joy and laughter to any gathering? Take a moment to decide what best defines you.

  1. Be a role model

A gift you can offer to others while living your purpose is to be a role model. Share the wisdom you’ve gained from all of your experiences. Showing others how to age well and enjoy the advantages of a long life can greatly influence those who come after.  

You can position yourself as someone that others will gratefully look up to – whether it’s to illustrate how to be gracious in times of disappointment or offer ways to approach change as inevitable.

Life at Tapestry Senior Living communities

Whether you’ve found your purpose in life or are still searching, we hope you find these tips helpful. And if you would like support to be a role model in aging well, an independent living community may be exactly what you’re looking for.

If you’re considering whether senior living is the right answer for you or a loved one, we hope you’ll consider one of our communities, where we offer the following benefits and more: 

  • Private residences and support for an independent lifestyle
  • The joy of maintenance-free living
  • Amenities and social events to help you quickly build meaningful relationships
  • Staying in shape is easy with our chef-inspired meals and fitness center
  • Wide choice of activities on-site to challenge your mind – or just to have fun

We understand that choosing the right community is an important decision and are here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary guide if you’re considering an assisted living community – Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.