Do you know someone who has a uniquely purposeful life? They inspire everyone around them. They have a purposeful life that lights up everything they do, giving them a reason to be alive. Well-known poet, abolitionist, and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, expressed the meaning behind this lifestyle when he said this:
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Living with purpose gives you the ability to make a difference at home, at work, and in the world around you.
16 Behaviors of Someone Who Lives A Purposeful Life
There are some distinct behaviors of those people who live a purposeful life. Here is a list of some qualities they have in their lives.
1 – Moving towards a goal
When you’re living a purposeful life, you’re moving towards a goal that fits within your values and passions. You’re taking steps to achieve a goal. Living purposefully means that every interaction in your life moves you forward. Studies found a link between a sense of purpose and positive outcomes in your daily life. Having a sense of purpose, they say, predicts positive experiences.
2 – A person with a purposeful life stays engaged with others
Purposeful people have long-term friendships with people who help them become better individuals. These friendships give them a chance to give and receive. They’re engaged with their community and look for ways to help. Having this orientation towards other people’s needs gives the purposeful individual a deep sense of satisfaction and the knowledge that they are making a difference in their local world.
3 – A purposeful life often means strong Faith in God
One scientific study found that people who believe in God have a higher sense of purpose in their life. They found a significant connection between an individual’s sure belief in God and their sense of purpose. People who believe in God can answer the big questions: why am I here, who has God made me be, and what does God have to do? Their faith directs their actions and attitudes and gives them a purpose in life.
4 – Not overwhelmed by obstacles
People with a sense of purpose in their life can push through difficulties in a positive, upbeat way. A friend once said problems aren’t obstacles. They’re opportunities. Whether you’re pursuing a degree or running in a marathon, there’s a good chance you’ll meet some challenges along the way. How you view your difficulties will determine whether you succeed or fail.
5 – Generous with time and money
When you’re living a purposeful life, money doesn’t control you. You don’t overspend, nor are you afraid to be generous. Money is something you use to accomplish things or help others. People who live purposefully give not only their money but their time. They spend their time wisely because they know life is short. These folks often seem driven to accomplish things and can get so much done in a bit of amount of time.
6 – A grateful life is a purposeful life
When you’re living a purposeful life, you’re grateful for the chance to contribute to something bigger than yourself. You feel privileged to help others and are still humbled and excited by your opportunities. Gratitude is contagious. As you thank those around you for their contributions, they, in turn, show their appreciation toward others. Growing in gratitude is a sure sign someone is living a purposeful life.
7 – Self-confidence
You feel confident about the path you’re on because you know you’re on the right track. Your self-confidence gives you strength and courage. Whether it’s making a hard decision or finding a solution to a problem, you have a humble self-confidence that keeps you striving for your goal.
8 – Take time for reflection
Those who live a purposeful life know how to take time out of their day to reflect upon their work, family, and goals. They may write in a journal or read a devotional book to enhance their reflections. They understand the need to step back and consider life. They’re not overly introspective but have a healthy self-awareness that keeps them anchored to reality.
9 – Healthy lifestyle
Having a sense of purpose influences your daily choices of health and wellness. You’re more likely to choose healthy eating patterns and take time to get some exercise, so they have plenty of energy to accomplish goals. You give yourself breaks to allow your body to rest. Having lasting friendships and enjoying time with your family enhances your mental health. Work doesn’t control you, and you own your career. You don’t assume you’ll stay healthy; you make it happen by conscious choices every day.
10 – People Who Live a Purposeful Life Are Well-rounded Readers
Most successful people say that reading has contributed to their sense of purpose. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates reads a new book every week. Reading helps you find meaning. It inspires your curiosity, answers your questions, and expands on what you know. It adds clarity to your life and enables you to understand yourself and other people better. Reading is also relaxing. It lowers your heart rate, reduces stress, and relaxes the tension in your muscles.
11 – Live longer
Did you know that having a purpose in life will help you live longer? A study revealed that purposeful people lived longer than their peers. They found that people with a sense of purpose had a 15% lower risk of death than those who had a pointless life. And it didn’t matter at what age people found their goal. They still added years to their life. So, it’s never too late to get started living a purposeful life!
12 – Creativity is part of a purposeful life
Purposeful living allows creativity to flow. Whether you’re writing a new song or taking photos at a wedding, you feel a sense of accomplishment for others to enjoy. You look for creative ways to solve problems, and don’t get hung up on being told you can’t do something. A person with a purpose has unique ways of doing things. Often things nobody else has ever tried.
13 – Adaptable
A study found that some individuals feel socially isolated when they’re in an ethnically diverse setting, but people who have a purpose in their life are less stressed about these settings. Their sense of purpose provided them a meaningful direction in their lives, and they were aware of the significance of people who differed from themselves. A purposeful life means you’re not threatened by people who look or think differently than you. You are ready to learn from them and enjoy the diversity of being with people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds.
14 – Get outside
People who live purposefully have specific goals yet. They know the importance of taking time to disconnect. They often do this by getting outside for a walk or a run. Being outdoors allows them to unwind. It relaxes and refreshes your mind and body.
15 – People living a purposeful life have curious minds
Being curious is a massive part of a purposeful lifestyle. Curiosity stimulates ideas and a desire to learn. When you’re interested, you’re humble because you realize you don’t know everything. You’re open to learning from other people of all ages because you know that people’s experiences can teach you things you can’t learn from a book.
16 – Courageous
Someone who lives a purposeful life isn’t free from fear, but they’re willing to push past their fears when needed. They’re ready to face rejection, give up their comfort and their ordinary life to pursue what they’ve been called to do. They remind themselves of why they’re doing what they’re doing and keep going. It’s not reckless courage, but well-thought-out risks they believe will help accomplish the bigger goal.
It could be a courageous decision to give money to start a foundation or a brave choice to create a parent group at your school. It doesn’t matter how big or small the action. The main thing is to step out and do what you can to affect the world around you.
Final thoughts on Living a More Purposeful Life
A purposeful life brings new meaning and energy to your life. It’s like a guiding light leading you on as you pursue your goals. You’ll have more power and not get discouraged when you face obstacles that come your way. Having purpose inspires you to live a healthier lifestyle, so you need the strength to keep going. No matter what age you are, you’re never too young or too old to have a sense of purpose. Many people find that their faith in God gives them a purpose for living. They’re encouraged to follow the path God has for them. Purposefulness in life can add years to your life as you contribute to the world around you. Maybe today is the day when you can begin living a purposeful life.