|Purpose can light up your life!|
This was not the only study that found a link between purpose in life and longevity. An American study on 6000 adults, with a 14-year follow-up time, found that people who initially reported a strong purpose in life had a 15% lower risk of dying. In a NIH-funded study that followed people aged from 65 to 92 for 11 years, those who described clear goals and purpose lived both longer and better than those who did not. In fact, other "Blue Zone" cultures (areas with a high prevalence of centenarians) besides the Okinawans of Japan value purpose, with the Nicoyan (Costa Rica) people calling it plan de vida.
So how can you find your own ikigai, if you haven't already? A great way to start is by doing an internal inventory. Take a piece of paper, and for 20-30 minutes think of all your ideals, principles, standards and morals, then think of your physical, mental and emotional talents, strengths and abilities. It can take a while, maybe even a couple of attempts, to get an idea of what you really want, but you know you're getting close if anything brings out a strong emotional reaction. And then...put your skills into action! It's also important to build relationships with people who can help you achieve your goals. Overall, longevity is for everyone, and it turns out that some of the best ways to extend your life also improve its quality.