I have always been fascinated with people that are 90 years and older. Since a very young age, I thought that if they managed to live for so long, they must have figured out how to live a happy and fulfilled life…and isn’t that what most of us strive for?
In the last two to three years of reading studies on longevity and exploring the best lifestyle approaches for a life that will allow me to live while still mobile and sane for more than 120 years, I came to realise that having a purpose is as important as following a nutritious diet.
When I was very young, my mother’s eldest brother passed away. I don’t remember that incident much but what I do remember was that immediately after my granddad became ill. My granddad was inconsolable. He loved his firstborn very much. My understanding was that they were really close as well. A year later, my granddad passed away.
My grandmother and my grandfather went through the very same loss, the loss of their son but how come my grandmother managed to live through this unfortunate event while my granddad didn’t?
The answer is very simple: Purpose
My grandmother had an incredibly strong sense of responsibility towards her daughter and her younger son. She had a reason to wake up every morning because her daughter, who was starting her own family, and her younger son, who was going through adulthood, needed her.
Have you ever thought that a purpose to be called a purpose needed to be grand such as building schools, changing the world? I did, but that was my mistake.
I had been looking for a purpose for 5 years because I thought it had to be as big as the one Oprah has. However, a purpose is a purpose. It is your purpose. There is no big or small purpose. There is only the reason that wakes you up in the morning and that reason can contribute up to seven years to your life expectancy.
One of the most popular studies with centenarians identified that the longest-lived people usually had a similar purpose which was raising their kids and then helping their kids raise their grandchildren.
So, what is the reason you wake up every morning? Be careful, answering this question will add up to seven years to your life.