Why Finding a Sense of Purpose May be the Secret to Happiness after 60
One common thread that I have seen as I talk with the women in our Sixty and Me communitiy is that life after 60 is a time of personal reflection. This doesn’t mean that baby boomers are ready to “age gracefully.” Far from it! It simply means that life after 60 is filled with questions, some philosophical and some practical:
“Does my life have a sense of purpose?”
“Did I choose the right person to marry?”
“Are my kids going to be ok?”
“How am I going to live on a pension?”
“Am I becoming invisible as I get older?”
“What happens to me after I die?”
The questions are endless…
For So Much of Our Lives, Our Sense of Purpose is Defined by Others
When we are raising children, they are rightly the focus of our lives. While we are building our careers, we become a part of somebody else’s vision for the world. Now, in our 60s and beyond, we have the opportunity to decide what is important for us. We must choose our own purpose – and this can be an exhilarating or a terrifying experience.
Walt Whitman once said, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” I’m sure that this quote means different things to different people. I choose to interpret this as saying that when you have something to follow and believe in, your problems fade into insignificance.
No one can tell you what your “sunshine” should be. It is up to each of us to make this decision for ourselves. All I, or anyone else for that matter, can say is that finding a purpose is one of the keys to happiness.
Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for inspiration to strike. Think about what matters to you and set out to reshape the world in your image. Join causes that you believe in. Explore your spiritual side. Fight injustices. Listen to your heart and she will tell you what is truly important.
Do you agree that finding a sense of purpose is one of the most important things that you can do to find happiness after 60? What brings meaning to your life? What advice would you give to the other members of our community about finding their own sense of purpose? Please join the discussion.