As we age, does our purpose change? Perhaps. Here at Open Book Open Hearts, we have had conversations recently about what it means to leave a legacy and how Boomers are defying age stereotypes. It is only natural for us to now consider life’s purpose and what that looks like as we leave childhood, move into adulthood, and then into retirement.

As always, we encourage our readers to become contributors; after you consider how your sense of purpose has evolved over time, be sure to send us your thoughts so that we can share them on our site! We all are better when we learn from one another.

The importance of purpose
Feeling purposeful impacts our overall quality of life in many ways. Not only does a purpose often give us a group of peers and friends, a network of support, feeling like we have a purpose also contributes to our self-esteem. Having a reason to wake up in the morning and knowing that someone (or something) counts on us to show up well can make us feel valued and important.

As we age, and perhaps encounter chronic medical conditions that leave us feeling less than ourselves, our purpose can become even more crucial to our successful aging experience. Without a purpose, it becomes easier to dive into depression or isolation; both of which can lead to additional physical mental health issues.

Finding purpose as we age
For many aging adults, purpose comes in the form of volunteerism. After retirement, adults are far from done contributing to society. Indeed, retirement gives adults the chance to give back to organizations that they care deeply for in the form of volunteering. For many aging adults, volunteering is an important part of their feeling of purpose and can be done at the organization or even in their own home.

Other adults can find purpose through relationships with family members and friends. For adults that find purpose in these relationships, their days are full of phone calls and mailing packages, keeping tabs on how their loved ones are doing. These adults reap the benefits of being socially engaged and connected.

There are multiple ways to find a purpose in life, no matter the age and stage we find ourselves in. Tell us your story of how you discover your purpose in your current life; we’d love to hear it!