Latimer: Having a purpose in life key to finding happiness

What builds positivity and happiness is finding purpose and value throughout our daily activities.

Do you feel like you have a purpose in your life? Are your activities and work meaningful to you?

If so, you are following a path to having a fulfilling and happy life.

I have written a few times in the past about the importance of finding purpose in life.

It makes sense that a life of purpose would be important for happiness.

Yet this concept is not always encouraged in modern self-help.

We are encouraged to seek happiness and energy, but what is sometimes missing is that what builds positivity and happiness is finding purpose and value throughout our daily activities.

Psychologist Todd Kasdan recently spoke about this concept in an interview for Forbes magazine.

He said we find energy in purpose and in energy we find creativity, productivity and engagement.

That sums it up well: When life has purpose and when we feel as though our daily activities are meaningful, it isn’t a chore to get things done.

Many studies have demonstrated the positive effects of having a strong sense of purpose in life.

It is associated with better health, competence, social integration and participation in the labour force.

Purpose in life is also shown to be beneficial for cognitive and psychological health in the elderly, a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, less cognitive impairment, less disability and even reduced risk of death.

So we know having purpose is good for us, but is this simply a genetic trait or can we take any steps to increase our feeling of purpose? Some evidence suggests it is a trait that can be modified.

A few useful steps toward living with a sense of purpose might include setting measurable goals and working toward them.

When possible, consider your interests and values before choosing activities or jobs to be part of.

We have limited time in the day so we should strive to make choices that are most in line with things we find meaningful.

Regardless of age, continue learning new things or consider getting involved in a cause that is important to you.

I often meet people who have retired from the workforce and seem to retire completely from being active in society.

This seems like a prescription for lonely and depressing senior years.

I believe it is critical to keep the mind active and engaged at every stage of life.

Finding meaning helps us renew our energy and remain fully engaged. This is how we make the most of our life.

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