What's Your Purpose?Feb 19, 2023
Have you ever thought about what your purpose in life is? Do you believe that humans are only driven by self-interests or is there something more that motivates us? It turns out that humans are hardwired to have a purpose beyond their own self-interests, and it is part of the natural order of Life.
For centuries, philosophers and scientists have pondered the question of human purpose. Some have argued that humans are only driven by self-interests, while others have suggested that we have a deeper purpose that goes beyond ourselves. Recent research has provided strong evidence that the latter is true.
One study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles found that people who have a sense of purpose in life tend to live longer and be healthier than those who don't. The researchers looked at data from over 7,000 participants and found that people who had a sense of purpose were 15% less likely to die over a 14-year period than those who didn't. They also found that purposeful individuals were less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, or Alzheimer's disease.
Another study, conducted by the University of Michigan, found that people who have a sense of purpose are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. The study surveyed over 7,000 adults and found that those who reported having a sense of purpose were more likely to engage in these healthy behaviors, which in turn led to better health outcomes.
These studies provide strong evidence that humans are hardwired to have a purpose beyond their own self-interests. But why is this the case? Some scientists believe that having a sense of purpose is a natural part of the human experience because it helps us connect with others and find meaning in our lives. When we have a purpose, we are more likely to form close relationships with others, which can lead to greater happiness and well-being.
Moreover, research has shown that having a sense of purpose is not just beneficial for individuals, but it can also have positive effects on society as a whole. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that employees who had a sense of purpose were more productive and engaged in their work, which in turn led to greater organizational success.
Humans are hardwired to have a purpose beyond their own self-interests, and it is part of the natural order. Research has shown that having a sense of purpose can lead to better health outcomes, greater happiness, and well-being, and even organizational success. So if you haven't already, take some time to reflect on your own purpose in life and see how it can positively impact yourself and those around you.
Hill, P. L., Turiano, N. A., Mroczek, D. K., & Burrow, A. L. (2016). The value of a purposeful life: Sense of purpose predicts greater income and net worth. Journal of Research in Personality, 65, 38-42.
Hill, P. L., Turiano, N. A., Hurd, M. D., Mroczek, D. K., & Roberts, B. W. (2019). Purpose in life is associated with mortality among community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 123, 7-10.
Hill, P. L., & Turiano, N. A. (2014). Purpose in life as a predictor of mortality across adulthood. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1482-1486.