Positive Aging SourceBook

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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 05/26/2022

Ways to Live With Purpose: Contribute and find meaning

Ways to Live With Purpose: Contribute and find meaning

Most people want to live with purpose—to make a difference, to leave an impact. Research from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and Encore.org suggests that older adults increasingly are committed to making a difference during their retirement years. 

The study found that 34 million people over age 50 in the United States prioritize purpose beyond themselves on a daily basis. This means they find meaning in their lives by contributing to their communities. Increasingly, active and engaged older adults want much more than a rocking chair or a beach chair to look forward to in retirement. 

While some retirees have always dreamed of their eventual volunteer position, others are unsure how to give back and find purpose. How do you find your purpose?

1. Use your interests. Do you have a long-time hobby or passion that you can turn into a volunteer position? Maybe you have always been an athlete and now you can coach young players. Or maybe you love to garden and you could contribute to a community garden. The options are limited only by your interests and your imagination. 

2. Use personal connections. Tell your family, friends and neighbors that you are interested in volunteering. Ask about any volunteer work they may already be doing.

3. Use professional connections. If you belong to any professional associations, ask if they have pro bono opportunities. This is a great way to use your skills and give back. 

More information about the Stanford Graduate School of Education and Encore.org study is available online: www.nextavenue.org/kick-back-live-purpose-choose.

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