A Sense of Purpose Extends Your Longevity

by David Kekich

Research has shown that knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra longevity.

Having a strong sense of purpose goes a long way to improving your outlook on life and on your attitude. In fact, without a clear sense of purpose, extreme life extension may turn out to be an empty dream.

Make a commitment to a life-long purpose. Be driven, even relentless in your determination to do or discover something. Your mission may be inspired by faith, conventional religion or personal convictions.

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It may be working on an important problem like, “Why do we get old and die?” or “How does the brain work?” or “What can I do to end starvation?” or simply “What can I do to help ensure the health, wellbeing, success and happiness of all my family members?” or any other worthy purpose.

All but 5 of 263 centenarians interviewed belonged to a faith-based community. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Researcher studies show that attending services four times a month will add 4 to 14 years of life expectancy.

Successful centenarians in Blue Zones put family or loved ones first. They kept aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home, which lowered disease and mortality rates of their children. They commit to a life partner (which can add three years of life expectancy) and they invest in their children with time and love, which makes the children more likely to be caretakers when the time comes.

Choose a mentor, a personal hero/heroine or someone to emulate. Find a mentor or mentors who live positive healthy lives. Pick their brains. When you think what a health-oriented person thinks, you become healthier. The fastest way to change any habit is to act as if it is already true.

Become a mentor. Pass your mentor’s knowledge on to your students when they’re ready, in order to create a multigenerational legacy. As Scaramouche once said, “I must now learn from the teacher of my teacher.”

Another way to boost your sense of purpose and outlook is increasing your spirituality. Join a church and go to services at least on annual holidays.

Other ways are: meditate regularly; look at the positive sides of life—stay optimistic and flexible; have a sense of humor about adversity; laugh and tell jokes; watch funny movies; develop a strong social network; go out socially once a week; find someone with whom to share your personal feelings and problems.

Sing songs, listen to music, play an instrument.

Stay informed without getting consumed by negative news: Watch TV news sparingly. Listen to the radio. Scan newspapers. Read magazines, journals and books and surf the Internet.

Go to a local library. Go out to the movies at least once a month. Rent CDs, DVDs or download your entertainment. Go to the theater/ballet/opera/symphony/concert at least a few times a year. Keep mentally active: play chess, checkers, cards, video games or Scrabble. Go to school and take courses. Go to lectures. Go to museums.

Finally, do what you love, and love what you do.

“Good Ideas, I’ll Start Tomorrow”

Do you find yourself waiting for the “perfect moment” to start? Maybe the time to start will be “tomorrow.” Then ask yourself this question. Was there ever a time when you let an opportunity slip by when you could have taken action—but didn’t?

I know I have. And it hurts. Now remember a time when you went for it and succeeded. Exhilarating, wasn’t it? So why don’t we unleash empowering action more often? Why do we procrastinate and pretend there is plenty of time?

Fittingly, in this case, procrastination will cost you time. It will cost you the extra years of youth that Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100 promises you. Your life. Your time. Your choice.

How many times have you started on a new diet or exercise program only to end up back to where you started, or worse?

Was motivation the missing element? The hardest part of any new program is the insidious mental resistance that sabotages us.

Well, I’ve got good news for you. Once you start Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100’s seven-step program, you will want to continue, naturally and unforced. You’ll love the process as well as the results. It will be enjoyable instead of work. It will become as much a part of you as getting dressed in the morning, regardless of your age or fitness level.