Why Purpose is So Important

Whitney HoustonWhitney Houston (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

I write a lot about the value of purpose for baby boomers and why it is so important–especially as we "retire"–move on–or think about it.  Without a title, platform, identity associated with a position, people often feel lost and lonely.  They often don't have a reason to get up in the morning.  As I said in a previous blog, baby boomers need to be concerned about purpose because the statistical trend is not positive.  The rate of divorce, suicide, and substance abuse are on the rise for boomers and the rate is higher than the normal rate which is too high!

But I can't stop thinking about the loss of Whitney Houston.  It was common knowledge that she struggled with drug abuse, but you never want to see it end such as this.

In our society, it is so easy to idolize celebrities because of their beauty, wealth, or talent.  We think they have life made in the shade because of how they might be able to buy whatever they need when they need it.  Even if that includes people to hire to make their life easy. 

If this is the case, then why do so many celebrities seem to have no purpose?  Why is substance abuse so common among people who seem to have it all?  Eckhart Tolle, author of the books The Power of Now and A New Earth calls this "numbing."  Anything we do that numbs us (i.e drinking, drugs, overeating, undereating, watching too much television, video games, gambling) takes us away from our present state is not a good thing. 

Houston is just another casualty and there have been too many recently:  Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, …

While there are no conclusive answers, I have many questions:

  • Not enough of a purpose?
  • Feel as if there is not meaning to life?
  • Too much time on their hands?
  • Too many people enabling their worst habits?
  • Too high of expectations for the person to live up to?
  • Loss of a talent so they are not what they used to be?
  • Aging in a society that expects you not to age?
  • Living in the spotlight and can't escape?
  • A combination of some or all of these factors?

I think this reinforces the power of purpose and being grounded.  We need to be who we are and grateful for where we are this very moment. 

Instead of thinking that 60 is the new 40 and 50 is the new 30, what is wrong with being a happy and healthy 50 or 60? 

Lots of younger people clearly are not happy or healthy.

This makes me sad.  Meaning matters.

Any insights?  Thanks

 

 

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