The Power of Purpose

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What gets you out of bed and excited about the day? Chances are it’s the purpose and passions in your life. Whether it’s an exciting job or just the thoughts of working in your yard — having purpose means we’re alive and thriving!

The ability to do and make a difference is vital to us all. We want to know that we matter and that what we do matters. As we get older we may lose some of our ability to do the things that make us thrive. With the loss of abilities we sometimes begin to feel useless and unneeded but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can find ways to stay active, engaged and have purpose in each and every day.

Life is All About Changes

When one door closes another one can open. We just need to be a little flexible and creative. One thing we can do is not to lose contact with friends and family. Staying engaged with others creates purpose. People need people and people need you whether you realize it or not. When we are involved with others, we take our focus off ourselves and we allow others to matter in our lives. Looking beyond our own inadequacies can make us realize how blessed we truly are. Okay, you might not be able to do what you once could but what are you still able to do? Do it will gusto!

It’s the Small Things That Make a Difference

I’ve heard from so many seniors who say getting up in the morning is a joy because their little dog is counting on them to take him for a walk. It is a little thing but a pet can be such an incentive to get out and get moving. They love us unconditionally and count on us for everything. Taking them for a walk gets you outside where other people are. The fresh air and exercise can change a gloomy day to one with hope and purpose.

Elder Volunteers

In my little town, the service organizations are primarily made up of seniors. They aren’t sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. They are active and have purpose every day. One volunteer I know is in her 80s and involved in a number of organizations including the historical society. She cooks all the meals for their fundraisers, she teaches groups of school children the crafts and skills of the pioneers and she’s active in her church. Even if you’ve lost the ability to drive or walk very far you still can volunteer your time. You can be the voice on the phone that checks on shut-in seniors. If you can still get out on your own, you can visit those in nursing homes or in the hospital. They always need “grannies” to rock the babies or take magazines to patients. You can make that difference.

If you’re the caregiver of an older person, be careful not to help too much. No matter how frail a person is, they still need to have purpose. Keep them involved with whatever you are doing. Even if it’s just to fold clothes with you or sit in the kitchen while you cook. Ask them for advice on what you’re making or have them put away the utensils. Tell them how much they mean to you every day. They need that and so do you.

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