Are You Living Your Life On Purpose?

by | Sep 20, 2018 | Newsletters

Aaron Kirsch, Managing Director

Are You Living Your Life On Purpose?

Why do you do what you do?

Is it because

  • you have to?
  • you want to?
  • you’ve had the same routine for years?

If you feel like life is something that just happens to you, it’s time to reassess how you are spending your time. Financial security, stability, and creature comforts are all important, but feeling that your life has purpose is critical to your emotional and physical well-being.

A healthy sense of purpose

Research into the area of human well-being draws a distinction between happiness (experiencing pleasure and avoiding pain) and the Are You Living Your Life on Purposefeelings of meaning and self-worth that we derive from our lives (1).  Too often we focus on the former and neglect the latter. This is why the sheen wears off so quickly from a big-ticket purchase. Buying a new car or big-screen TV gives us a quick hit of pleasure. But sooner rather than later new things become just more things that we’ve accumulated. Once that initial happiness evaporates we find there’s no additional layer – no purpose – to improve our well-being.

A doctor who has to deal with ill people and mortality might not consider her job “happy” all the time. But helping people gives her that critical sense of purpose that rounds out her feelings of well-being.

Researchers have found that people who feel their lives have purpose live longer and show decreased risk of cardiovascular problems (2), and cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s (3).

The purpose of work and family

Most of us tie purpose to the things that we spend the majority of our time doing: working and raising our families. Again it’s important to draw a distinction between simple happiness and purpose. Taking care of children will at times make even the most patient parents want to pull their own hair out. But feelings of love, connection, and responsibility make both happy family vacations and frustrating afternoons in timeout purposeful.

Get your life into alignment

If you feel like your life is lacking purpose, start by looking for misalignment in the areas of happiness and purpose. For those who are still working, is your job “just a job” that pays the bills? How could you pivot to a career that uses your unique gifts and skills to create purpose? Or how can you find purpose in your existing job? Are you working so hard that you’re missing key family events which are also critical to your sense of purpose? Are there ways to improve your work-life balance?

For those who are retired, research indicates that seniors frequently cite “dying with their music still in them” as one of the biggest areas of regret when they look back on their lives (chances they didn’t take, ideas they never pursued, or opportunities they watched pass by). It’s not money they’re regretting. It’s the sense of purpose they missed out on that would have improved their Return on Life.

It’s not too late

It is never too late to find that purpose. Start by asking yourself, “Why do I get out of bed in the morning?”

We encourage you to come in and talk to us so that we can start a new dialogue about how your financial plan can help you get the best, most purposeful life possible with the money you have.

Sources:
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11148302
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26630073
3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/210648

Aaron Kirsch, Managing Director

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Are You Living Your Life On Purpose?

by | Sep 20, 2018 | Newsletters

Aaron Kirsch, Managing Director

Are You Living Your Life On Purpose?

Why do you do what you do?

Is it because

  • you have to?
  • you want to?
  • you’ve had the same routine for years?

If you feel like life is something that just happens to you, it’s time to reassess how you are spending your time. Financial security, stability, and creature comforts are all important, but feeling that your life has purpose is critical to your emotional and physical well-being.

A healthy sense of purpose

Research into the area of human well-being draws a distinction between happiness (experiencing pleasure and avoiding pain) and the Are You Living Your Life on Purposefeelings of meaning and self-worth that we derive from our lives (1).  Too often we focus on the former and neglect the latter. This is why the sheen wears off so quickly from a big-ticket purchase. Buying a new car or big-screen TV gives us a quick hit of pleasure. But sooner rather than later new things become just more things that we’ve accumulated. Once that initial happiness evaporates we find there’s no additional layer – no purpose – to improve our well-being.

A doctor who has to deal with ill people and mortality might not consider her job “happy” all the time. But helping people gives her that critical sense of purpose that rounds out her feelings of well-being.

Researchers have found that people who feel their lives have purpose live longer and show decreased risk of cardiovascular problems (2), and cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s (3).

The purpose of work and family

Most of us tie purpose to the things that we spend the majority of our time doing: working and raising our families. Again it’s important to draw a distinction between simple happiness and purpose. Taking care of children will at times make even the most patient parents want to pull their own hair out. But feelings of love, connection, and responsibility make both happy family vacations and frustrating afternoons in timeout purposeful.

Get your life into alignment

If you feel like your life is lacking purpose, start by looking for misalignment in the areas of happiness and purpose. For those who are still working, is your job “just a job” that pays the bills? How could you pivot to a career that uses your unique gifts and skills to create purpose? Or how can you find purpose in your existing job? Are you working so hard that you’re missing key family events which are also critical to your sense of purpose? Are there ways to improve your work-life balance?

For those who are retired, research indicates that seniors frequently cite “dying with their music still in them” as one of the biggest areas of regret when they look back on their lives (chances they didn’t take, ideas they never pursued, or opportunities they watched pass by). It’s not money they’re regretting. It’s the sense of purpose they missed out on that would have improved their Return on Life.

It’s not too late

It is never too late to find that purpose. Start by asking yourself, “Why do I get out of bed in the morning?”

We encourage you to come in and talk to us so that we can start a new dialogue about how your financial plan can help you get the best, most purposeful life possible with the money you have.

Sources:
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11148302
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26630073
3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/210648

Aaron Kirsch, Managing Director

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