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Purpose in Life is good for you!

PIL is the acronym for “Purpose in Life,” referring to a “Sense of Purpose” or one’s “Reason for Being.”

In the corporate world, the terms Vision and Mission are giving way to the increasingly common but meaningfully distinct notion of PURPOSE.

If Vision represents the WHAT—that is, what a company wants to be or achieve—and Mission represents the HOW—the means a company chooses to achieve what it wants—PURPOSE represents the WHY—that is, the intent, the end goal, a company’s reason for being. Companies are made up of people, so it is important for an entrepreneur first of all to know their “Reason for Being” and their own values​1 which will be transferred to their company.

It is also important for team members to find alignment and continuity between their own Sense of Purpose and that of the company. Searching for one’s Purpose allows us to work in a more engaging way, to be more interested and motivated in how we carry out a certain task and therefore to achieve optimal experience, or the so-called FLOW state.2, 3, 9

Below are, in broad strokes, the salient conclusions of some recent scientific studies (2014–22) that have shown the positive impact of Purpose in Life on people’s wellbeing.

  • Individuals with a secure Sense of Purpose maintain better cognitive function and have a lower risk of dementia.4
  • Having a Purpose in Life protects against cognitive decline as determined by age and ethnicity, though not gender.5
  • PIL consistently appears as an indicator of healthy aging for many reasons, including the reduction of mortality risk.6
  • PIL was associated with positive results such as: fewer chronic diseases, fewer disabilities, reduced mortality rate and strong improvement in physical and mental function. Individuals (in the American population) with a Purpose had significantly lower health care utilization and expenditure and greater preventive services compliance. A questionnaire comprising 49 questions on quality of life (QoL) revealed an improvement in QoL, therefore reaffirming that PIL contributes to successful aging in all these respects.7
  • Having a Purpose in Life provides intrinsic motivation to engage in healthy behaviors, which helps achieve positive health outcomes, improves life satisfaction and facilitates successful aging. PIL is dynamic and changes over the course of life in response to various environmental and life circumstances, so it’s never too late to find your own PIL!8
  • We can identify Purpose as our purpose in life, through which we are able to leave a lasting mark, however big or small, on society. Purpose is not innate, but in continuous evolution. It must be sought, built; it can change its face over time and according to the contexts in which we live. When we move within Purpose, we enter a state allowing us to better face challenges and difficulties, drawing on personal resources usually inaccessible to us. If we ​​reflect on our Purpose in work or in life, we will give the best of ourselves.9

Author: Valentina Reiner

Valentina Reiner is Certified Business Coach (CBC™) by Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC), European Individual Accreditation (EIA) Coach/Mentor at Senior Practitioner Level by European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), Neuromanager Positivo Applicato (NPA®) by Apprendo Academy

Valentina Reiner
Valentina Reiner

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1. “You are not like the others, you are you” (quote) – The Deeping Valentina Reiner, June 2022

2. The autotelic self – The Deeping Valentina Reiner, July 2022

3, Mihaly Csikszentmihaly FLOW, 1990

4. Sutin R Angelina, Luchetti Martina, Terracciano Antonio. Sense of Purpose in Life and healthier cognitive aging. Trends in Cognitive Science, Volume 25, Issue 11, November 2021, Pages 917-919

5. Giyeon Kim, Su Hyun Shin, Monica A. Scicolone, Patricia Parmelee. Purpose in Life Protects Against Cognitive Decline Among Older Adults. Am J Ger Psyc, Volume 27, Issue 6, June 2019, Pages 593-601

6. Hill L. Patrick, Turiano Nicholas A. Purpose in Life as a predictor of mortality across adulthood. Phycol Sci. 2014 July; 25(7): 1482-1486

7. Musich S., Wang Shaohung S., Kraemer S., Hawkins K., and Wicker E. Purpose in Life and Positive Health Outcomes Among Older Adults. Population Health Management, Volume 21, N 2, 2018

8. PV AshaRani, Damien Lai, JingXuan Koh and Mythily Subramaniam. Purpose in Life in Older Adults: A systematic Review on Conceptualization, Measures and Determinants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 5860.

9. Chi voglio essere, non cosa voglio fare: l’importanza del purpose personale – Il Sole 24 ORE Consuelo Sironi, Giulio Xhaët, 9 marzo 2021