Can you imagine yourself in your seventies or eighties, looking back on your life with a serene smile on your face, satisfied with the memories and the legacy you’re leaving behind? The still ongoing health crisis has put things in perspective for so many people. The sudden and drastic shift of priorities, social distancing, fear, and overwhelming stress have pushed us to rethink what we find relevant in our short time on this beautiful, blue dot we call Earth.
Even with your finances all settled and your kids off to college, your life shouldn’t be an empty, meaningless string of activities that give you little satisfaction. Leading a life of purpose and fulfillment is so much more than having your bank account in the black. As the pandemic has taught us, it’s also more than just traveling from one exotic destination to another, and more than having a career. To find, define, and refine the multitude of purposes you give your life, include the listed ideas into your mindset and lifestyle.
Never stop learning
Learning is good for your mental wellbeing, but also for your cognitive abilities, your emotional health, and your overall sense of accomplishment. The more we learn about the world, different cultures, history, people, food, the more skills we master, the richer our lives become.
You can start small and take up a language course via an app. Find a local course in something that you’ve always been curious about, like playing the piano, cooking, or creative writing. Learning unleashes a world of opportunities and helps you find new ways to appreciate life.
Deliberately abandon your comfort zone
Maybe you feel good about your routine today, and perhaps predictability and stability give you a sense of calm. Adding more substance and meaning to your days is often about doing something out of the ordinary, getting outside of that comfort zone of familiarity.
If you’ve been taking up dance lessons, why not go out for an evening of dancing? When the pandemic permits, you can visit a new destination and book something adventurous like paragliding or canyoning. Perhaps you can go to a karaoke bar and try singing your favorite song. Pushing your own boundaries a little bit gives you a sense of adventure and grants you unforgettable experiences that will make you feel more confident and bolder in your life in general.
Build strong social connections
Most of us spontaneously make friends when we’re young and curious. As we get older, and especially when we’re approaching those silver years – we’re more set in our ways and less prone to establishing new connections. This is your moment to change that and step outside of your comfort zone in yet another way.
Why should you be bored or feel lonely? Even in the midst of a pandemic, you can use the online world to meet people, date, build friendships and enrich your life with social connections.
Today, more people are open to the idea of mature dating both via online platforms and in person, which makes it one of the most rewarding ways to expand your social circle and find someone who shares your values. Even while you’re still practicing social distance, you can have meaningful conversations, bond, and spend quality time getting to know like-minded people.
Find healthy ways to defeat stress
Battling burnout or dealing with the build-up of stress from all the pandemic-caused issues can be a tremendous challenge, no matter if you’re twenty or eighty. If you’ve done your best to build healthy, mutually beneficial relationships in life, you’ve already made a huge difference for the betterment of your mental health.
Aside from companionship, friendship, and family, what you do to prevent and deal with stress can make your life more open to joy and meaning. With too much on your mind, you’ll hardly be able to appreciate the good little things that happen.
Try meditation, affirmations, physical activity such as dancing, or join a book club. Try different activities that can feed your soul and give you a healthy vent.
Practice self-love at every turn
So many people confuse the idea of self-love for pampering or hedonism. While you should certainly enjoy taking care of yourself, self-care is a set of choices, some of which have nothing to do with your bubble baths or hair masks.
Self-love can be disguised as simply saying no to a late-night outing you’re too tired for, or a second cup of coffee. It can mean leaving a toxic marriage or trying your hand at a new job.
It can also mean doing a digital detox to spend more time reconnecting with Mother Nature, to remind yourself of the importance of silence, contemplation, and fresh air away from all the concrete. Think about what self-love means within your own life, and start taking better care of yourself one choice at a time.
As elusive and individual purpose is meant to be, yours is most likely waiting within everything that you’re already doing in your life. From how you approach human connections, your relationship to yourself, all the way to being open-minded – your life can be imbued with many purposes and passions, as long as you’re working toward such a life. These ideas will help you achieve that, just remember that it’s a lifelong process rather than a single destination. Keep making meaningful decisions every day, and your life will be all the more fulfilled for it.