Many people are seeking to find meaning in their lives right now and this is especially true for those of us who are over 50. We may have lost our sense of purpose along the way or really never thought we had one. Do you think that it’s too late in life for you to discover your true purpose? A lot of people believe this, so in this article, we will explain why it is never too late for you to do this. The bottom line is that you can benefit from identifying your life’s purpose no matter what age you are.
The Japanese call this ikigai – referring to having a direction or purpose in life, providing a sense of fulfillment and towards which the person may take actions giving them satisfaction and a sense of meaning (Wikipedia).
Once a person reaches a certain age, they may believe that it is a waste of their time trying to find their purpose in life. One of the reasons for thinking this way is that they believe that their true calling passed them by a long time ago. This means that they feel they are stuck with their current life and it would be pointless to try and change it. But that’s not true. Many people are living to the age of 100 these days and so if you’re over 50, 60 or 70 you could actually live another few decades! If you’re happy with your current life, that’s great but if you’re not, it makes sense to change.
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
When you wake up each morning do you want to immediately jump out of bed because you are full of enthusiasm about the day ahead? Or do you tend to hit the “snooze” button on your alarm or open up the solitaire app on your phone because the thought of a new day just feels tedious? If anything should tell you that you need to change your situation then this is it.
In the working population, a lot of people experience “Sunday night blues”. As Sunday evening approaches they start to get anxious because tomorrow is Monday and that means another week of frustration and stress. According to an article in The New York Times, several studies of various populations over the years showed that deaths from heart attacks follow a pattern during the week. They occur at their lowest rates on weekends, jump significantly on Mondays (up to 20% higher in men and 15% higher in women), then drop again on Tuesdays. Yikes! How telling is that?! (More recent studies have disagreed with this finding though.)
But we all need to pay the bills, and in our attempt to do this we will often accept a job that is not fulfilling and causes us to check the clock several times a day. These kinds of jobs will never let you express your true talents and this is not the way to live your life whatever age you may be. As we are coming out of COVID, I think there will be many people learning just exactly how much they hate their jobs as they are drawn to go back into the office instead of working from home.
You have more experiences to draw upon
One of the major benefits of being older is that you have a lot more life experiences to draw upon. This can make it a lot easier for you to discover your purpose in life. You have done a lot more things than a younger person will have done so it will be easier for you to answer questions about what excites you in life.
With age comes wisdom, and that wisdom is invaluable. You may not be able to run the mile quite as fast as you could before (or maybe you CAN) but there is still so much more to your life!
Age is just a number
It does take some effort to stay healthy and fit but it’s also a mindset shift. If you think young then you will feel young. There are many stories of older people finally doing the things that they wanted to do after many years of holding themselves back or living in retirement. One example is model Iris Apfel who had been retired from her interior design career for 10 years before being drawn back into the fashion industry at the age of 93!
Another inspiring woman is Rotarian Nancy Hughes who after losing her husband to cancer didn’t know what to do with her life. Her children were all grown and raising families of their own, so on a whim, she joined her local Rotary International club and later went on a medical mission in Guatemala. While there, she saw that women were cooking the family meals on an indoor stove and that people were being burned and affected by the creosote. She discovered her purpose! She went back home and asked her Rotary Club for help. At 65, she started Stove Team International.
Have you ever thought to yourself “there has got to be something better than this”? All of us have probably thought this at one point in our life. But you have the power to transform your life at any time and break free of the shackles that you are currently experiencing.
Making the decision to do this is the most important step. By discovering the true purpose of your life, you can live a life of meaning, serve others and bring more happiness into your life.
How do you begin?
Download our free guide “Starting Over After 50”!