Purpose is important. In many ways, it’s the thing that keeps us going.
Purpose is one of four core dimensions of well-being, along with awareness, connection, and insight. Having a sense of purpose is key to attaining life satisfaction, a more rewarding state than fleeting moments of happiness.
There are more pragmatic benefits, too:
Our sense of purpose shapes how we feel about ourselves and our lives, but it is also linked to memory and cognitive abilities, to a lower risk of major health issues, like heart problems and stroke, and, believe it or not, to having a higher income and net worth.
I’m an example of the higher income and net worth part. I’ve made some pretty serious career moves in order to maintain purpose even if it meant making less money, but the opposite happened instead.
It makes sense that if your work fulfills your sense of purpose that you’ll be more engaged in it, and perform at a higher level. The fact that 40 percent of Americans find their job meaningless is truly sad.
My advice to freelancers, entrepreneurs, and those who want to become one or the other is to put purpose first. It will carry you through the tough times, and will likely end up providing plenty of money. Purpose helps us deal with adversity, and gives us strength to persevere.
This leads to an obvious question — is purpose a skill that can be learned, or is just something you magically have? The answer is encouraging:
It appears that purpose is not determined by our biology, nor by the circumstances of life. Purpose is a skill. It’s something that we can learn, practice, and apply in the midst of our daily lives.
So, if you’re lacking in purpose at the moment, don’t fret. With mindfulness, some clarity of motivation, and seeing opportunity in every moment, you can ramp up your sense of purpose and lead a more meaningful life.
Smile While You Still Have Teeth
“Whatever is happening, however horrible the things they’re throwing at you, as long as it doesn’t kill you dead on the spot, there is only one response: Love it. Embrace it. Use it.”
Don’t Spill the Tea
On the beautiful Greek island of Ikaria, locals sip savory teas steeped with herbs not often found in other parts of the world. Ikaria also happens to be known for its extraordinary number of centenarians living with little cognitive decline or impairment.
“For some, the realization that financial responsibility is important doesn’t kick in until midlife. You wake up one day, realize you’re in your 40s, and you have no idea where you’re going. It’s time to get started.”
The Shots Heard ‘Round the World
I get my second Moderna shot at the end of April. Two weeks after that, I’ll be on an airplane. If you’re feeling the same way, check out some of the places that are welcoming the vaccinated. Also, consider joining a program like CLEAR to smooth over the proof aspect.
Down below, Trudi talks about how what you eat affects not only your body, but the planet. And in the Flashback, a song that mentions that time Joe Walsh tried to leave a party at 4 am by walking into a closet.
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Save Yourself and the Planet by Eating Healthier
By Trudi Roth
You may have heard the adage, “We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”
I’d put a spin on that, considering we’re the first generation to live significantly longer, into triple-digits. All love to the kids and thanks to climate change, we’re on borrowed time ourselves. We can make a collective impact in the fight against global warming by changing our individual behaviors.
While we’re at it, why not double-dip and support a longer healthspan by getting serious about a better diet? It turns out the two go together like peanut butter and dark chocolate (my favorite plant-based combo… hmm, better work on that).
All we have to do is stop wasting food and eat less meat.
The Beef With Meat
According to food systems and health scholar Michael Clark, putting yourself on a diet cuts carbs (as in carbon emissions) for the planet, too. His research aligns healthy eating with lower environmental impacts:
The same dietary transitions that would lower incidences of noncommunicable diseases would also help meet environmental sustainability targets.
Topping the worst foods list for Earth and us is meat, especially beef. Whether you eat it burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell, processed or fresh, beef is linked to life-threatening diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Just as consuming a lot of red meat clogs your arteries, cows’ methane gas emissions congest our atmosphere. Cattle account for two-thirds of livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to other environmental ills like deforestation, freshwater depletion, and biodiversity erosion.
Now, this doesn’t mean going vegan is the only option. For both your diet and the sake of the planet, experts recommend simply cutting back on your meat consumption (by about 40%) and instead eat more beans, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
Don’t be a Wasteoid
The other best way to help mitigate climate change is to cut down on your food waste. The amount of perfectly good food we toss every year is staggering: one-third of post-harvest goods are chucked, making it the #1 item in landfills. And decomposing food releases methane gas, giving the cows a run for their money.
Speaking of spoiled food, keep in mind that things don’t go bad as quickly as you think. Research shows most Americans misread labels; most expiration dates are about freshness, not food safety. Unless there’s evidence of spoilage (i.e., visible mold, a foul smell), chances are it’s OK to eat.
So, how does lessening your waste tighten your waistline? One word: portions.
Buy less, and consume what you buy. It’s that simple. After all, you are what you eat, and Mother Nature would like us all to make better choices.
Your Diet Is Cooking the Planet (The Atlantic)
Life’s Been Good (Live) – Joe Walsh
But Seriously, Folks…, 1978
The lyrics to Life’s Been Good contain so many gems (“It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door”), but I have to go with “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do” as my favorite. (YouTube)
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