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Having Purpose & Longevity
Old 05-26-2019, 04:41 AM   #1
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Having Purpose & Longevity

Having a purpose in life may be one of the most important factors in longevity:

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/0...-linked-health

"This association between a low level of purpose in life and death remained true despite how rich or poor participants were, and regardless of gender, race, or education level. The researchers also found the association to be so powerful that having a life purpose appeared to be more important for decreasing risk of death than drinking, smoking, or exercising regularly."
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:49 AM   #2
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I heard a man in say that each of us needs 3 things in life. Someone to love, something to do and something to hope for...
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:57 AM   #3
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I think that's true. It reminds me of Victor Frankl's work on the "drive for meaning." He was the psychiatrist who wrote Man's Search for Meaning and founded a school of psychology based on the importance of meaning. His work was particularly helpful for me at one point in my life.

That's an impressive stat -- "more important for decreasing risk of death than drinking, smoking, or exercising regularly."

As with all correlational studies, though, we have to be careful about confounding factors. For instance, maybe people who feel no sense of purpose/meaning don't take good care of themselves, so it's a secondary effect rather than a primary cause. I don't know if the research addressed that.

Personally, I've got no doubt that a sense of meaning or purpose is important to longevity. If I don't feel like my life has any meaning or purpose, that is bound to affect my physiology on a basic level.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:04 AM   #4
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Outliving your enemies isn't a purpose?

Seriously, while I think it's great to have a purpose in life, everything I've read about Jeanne Calment seemed to indicate that she had none -- just floated through life not thinking about much at all.
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WestUniversity View Post
I heard a man in say that each of us needs 3 things in life. Someone to love, something to do and something to hope for...


Ive heard this, too. I actually reflect on it quite frequently.

In addition to meaning Ive read about the powerful effects on longevity of social connection. Something to plan for intentionally during ER, especially if we relocate!
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:38 AM   #6
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anyone here remember Steve Martin's character in "The Jerk", searching for his "Special Purpose"?
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:48 AM   #7
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I heard a man in say that each of us needs 3 things in life. Someone to love, something to do and something to hope for...
That is a wise statement I believe that would be good advise for all.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Outliving your enemies isn't a purpose?

Seriously, while I think it's great to have a purpose in life, everything I've read about Jeanne Calment seemed to indicate that she had none -- just floated through life not thinking about much at all.
I don't think you can base things off outliers and exception cases. Calment also smoked. Would that lead you to conclude that smoking has no effect on lifespan?
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:31 AM   #9
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Seriously, while I think it's great to have a purpose in life, everything I've read about Jeanne Calment seemed to indicate that she had none -- just floated through life not thinking about much at all.
Some Russian researchers are challenging her record longevity, claiming the daughter assumed her identity. The story ----

Quote:
Calment’s longevity has since inspired a healthy debate among scientists as to whether she was just an extreme outlier or if humans really do have the potential to naturally reach such old age. But there’s another explanation for Calment’s record-breaking life that is now being explored: was it was built on a lie?
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...man-180971153/
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:56 AM   #10
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Outliving your enemies isn't a purpose?

Seriously, while I think it's great to have a purpose in life, everything I've read about Jeanne Calment seemed to indicate that she had none -- just floated through life not thinking about much at all.
She wanted to get her money's worth out of that apartment!
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:08 AM   #11
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Just read up on "Ikigai" and studies on the longevity of Okinawense .
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Are we implying purpose conveys longevity? Both purpose and longevity correlate with good health. People in poor health often have few activity options, and thus they see no purpose to their life.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:58 AM   #13
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Or maybe longevity produces purpose, as after sitting there for years staring at a wall , a person gets bored and decides to do something, looks like purpose to others.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
anyone here remember Steve Martin's character in "The Jerk", searching for his "Special Purpose"?

I sure do

thanks for the reminder
all the other well meaning but high minded comments were getting me depressed for some reason

perhaps at approaching sixty, I still have a middle school sense of humor

may be we should have a thread about how a sense of humor, and what kind, affect longevity
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:02 PM   #15
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anyone here remember Steve Martin's character in "The Jerk", searching for his "Special Purpose"?
He found something truly worth living for!
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It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any. - Hugh Laurie
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Outliving your enemies isn't a purpose?

Seriously, while I think it's great to have a purpose in life, everything I've read about Jeanne Calment seemed to indicate that she had none -- just floated through life not thinking about much at all.
I read that Calment might have actually died in her 50's, and that her daughter assumed her mother's identity (for whatever reason). Supposedly the daughter lived to be 99, but using her mother's birthdate she was 122 on paper.

I have no idea if the above is true or not.
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It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any. - Hugh Laurie
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:18 PM   #17
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Please delete, I was too long finding the link.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:55 PM   #18
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Are we implying purpose conveys longevity? Both purpose and longevity correlate with good health. People in poor health often have few activity options, and thus they see no purpose to their life.
Exactly.

Implied conclusion: If you have a purpose in life, you're likely to live longer.

Also supported, my conclusion: People who are healthy are more likely to have a purpose in life and are more likely to live longer.

Which of these two women has a purpose in life?



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Old 05-28-2019, 12:56 AM   #19
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I see no correlation between health and purpose of life. Much of purpose can depend on family and faith. Also some live to mentor others which gives them purpose. I just don't go by the premise that if you're an overweight man or woman that you don't have purpose like the young fit lady below.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:07 AM   #20
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Or you can combine the two. Someone on the citydata forum commenting about what people do for activities in 55+ communities said that there are people whose only focus is on studying and applying science-based health for longevity.

Seems sort of circular. I want to live longer so I can keep studying about how to live longer.
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