I gained an appreciation for another powerful role for purpose in our lives and growth that may explain its foundational role in health and longevity.
We have talked about purpose as an organizing factor in teams and organizations as was beautifully identified by Simon Sinek.
What if the real power of purpose is in driving our resilience and perception?
I recently blogged about the belief that all the events we experience in our lives are really just mirrors of unresolved internal issues. That our life experiences are actually designed to help us work through the fractured areas of our being that keep us from feeling and from being whole.
What is the energy that helps us see these experiences as positive learning and growing ones, as opposed to feeling defeated, hopeless and fearful?
I think it is resilience.
Malcolm Gladwell pointed out in his book Outliers that the secret to mastery is 10,000 hours of practice.
What powers us to maintain our desire to succeed and spend so much time and energy mastering such an experience?
What drives our resilience?
I think it is purpose.
With great purpose, we have a laser focus on our desired outcome and destination. Resilience is a reflection of this purpose that allows us to gather the energy to contend with the obstacles in our path. Failure that happens during the purpose journey is framed as a learning opportunity, as opposed to a failure.
As we previously discussed, the perception of chronic stress ages us biologically, while a positive, learning attitude in facing the same challenges, does not increase biological aging.
This directly connects us back to the powerful role of our perceptions in our health and success.
Since our health may be driven by our perceptions of our interactions with each other and our world, adapting a framework of learning, curiosity and growing is likely a driving factor in health.
Thus, Anais Nin was masterful in her observation that, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Maybe in reality, our perception is driven by the unique way we see the world. We each see our world through our individual lenses, adding diversity to the whole.
In the Blue Zone areas of the world like Okinawa, Japan, purpose is critical for longevity and is called ikigai (the reason for being).
It is a critical factor for long and fulfilling lives.
So find your purpose and this may provide you the foundation for a life of abundance, learning, resilience and wholeness.
I will close with another greeting.
This word translates to: “The divine in me bows to the divine in you.”