What purpose Creates for you:
1. A Sense of Belonging
Knowing your purpose brings a sense of intimacy with life. Knowing your purpose means finding your unique place within the meshwork of life. Only when we recognize who we are at a soul level, can we truly inhabit our place, our niche, and our deepest calling. Ex: the artisan who feels his workshop is his sacred chamber, or the teacher who feels the classroom to be her natural habitat.
2. A Shape to Your Life
Purpose is like a container that you pour your life into. Pour a cake mix into a Bundt pan, and you'll get a Bundt-shaped cake. Pour your life into your purpose, and you get a purpose-shaped life. Pour a cake mix into a pan with no depth, and you get a formless mess. Pour your life into no particular thing, and you get an underdeveloped life. Purpose brings definition, depth, structure, shape, form, and a blueprint to your existence.
3. Becoming a Force of Nature
The playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote, "This is the true joy in life...being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances." It's not just the shape of a life that is beneficial, it's also the dimensions of our life. Size matters when it comes to service! Make a Bundt cake for 1, and you'll enjoy your dessert. Make it for 8 people, and you've got a party. Make it for 500 people, and you've got a purpose to serve others.
What purpose does for the world:
1. High-Impact Service
You want to be of service to the world. With so many causes, how do you choose? Knowing your purpose brings clarity to what your task is in this lifetime. Knowing your purpose brings lucidity to your gift and offering in the world. Imagine what the world would have been deprived of had Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa switched jobs? Life is not served when you take up a vocation that is not yours!
2. Learning to choose purpose
Humans have invented wondrous things: the symphony, flying machines, the declaration of independence, and the heart transplant. We've also created mass extinction, pollution, pervasive social injustice, and the atom bomb. Clearly, some of us are working towards birthing more goodness, truth, and beauty, while others are struggling to find their true calling... We can (and must) learn to move away from our excessive attention to our default purposes (of safety, security, and consumerism) and towards our true life-purpose.
3. Evolving the species
Right now is an "evolve or perish" moment on the planet. If human beings survive all of the upcoming social and ecological disasters, it will be because we evolved as a species. Our great-grandchildren will have become "post-human" relative to the impulses now holding sway over humanity. While the humans of the 2100's might be genetically identical to us, they will also be quite different. Imagine 7.3 billion people becoming homo evolution ("evolving man").
What scientific studies show about having purpose:
1. A vigorous, healthy and long life.
- Live up to 7 years longer (NIH, 1998; Carelton, 2014)
- Maintains healthier cell structures (UNC/UCLA, 2013)
- Reduces overall mortality rate by 23% (Mt. Sinai, 2015)
- Correlated with cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and immune health (Institute on Aging, UW-Madison, 2006)
2. A strong mind.
- Doubles the likelihood of learning something new each day (Gallup/Healthways, 2013)
- Yields a 42% increase in the experience of contentment (Leider/Metlife, 2009)
- Decreases onset of Alzheimer's Disease by 240% (Boyle/Rush, 2014)
- Fights depression (Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1980)
- Decreases rates of teen depression (PNAS, 2014)
3. A healthy heart.
- Reduces death by coronary heart disease by 23% (Mt. Sinai, 2015)
- Reduces death rate from stroke by 72% (Koizumi, 2008)
4. More profitable and rewarding careers.
- Quadruples the likelihood of being engaged at work (Gallup/Healthways, 2013)
- Linked (91%) with a strong corporate purpose with profitability (Deloitte, 2013)
- Cited by global CEOs as one of the top 3 things (along with ethics and values) to focus on (IBM, 2012)
- Yields a 47% increase in the experience of abundance (Leider/Metlife, 2009)
5. More fulfilling relationships.
- Yields a 31% increase in the experience of feeling love (Leider/Metlife, 2009)
- Increases meaning in times of dissonance (Stanford, 2014)
6. A more kind, tolerant and educated society.
- Increases racial tolerance (Harvard / Cornell / Carelton, 2014)
- Increases appetite for education (Stanford, 2015)
- Increases incidence of philanthropy and volunteering by 50% (Gallup/Healthways, 2013)
7. A more sustainable economy.
- 92% of customers will choose a product that has a higher purpose when price and quality are equal (Nielsen, 2014
- 55% of customers will pay more for a product that has a higher purpose, an increase of 10% since 2011 (Nielsen, 2014)
- Driving corporate strategy: In 2014, "purpose", "mission" and "change the world" were mentioned 3,243 times on earnings calls, investor meetings and industry conferences, a 40% increase over 2009 (Factiva, 2015)
- Driving consumer behavior: 16% of US adults and ~50% of EU adults make purchases with purpose (LOHAS, 2015)
- Driving business in the US: Social enterprise employs 10 million people, with revenues of $500 billion; about 3.5 percent of total US GDP (Impact Investor, 2012)
- Driving hiring: 70% of Millenials want purpose at work (Harvard Business Review, 2014)
- Driving conscious capitalism: 350+ professors in social entrepreneurship from 35+ countries, with 30+ national and international competitions, 800 different articles and 200 cases used in social entrepreneurship courses (Wingate University, 2008)
- Driving media: 800% more news articles about social enterprises between 2001 and 2011 (Nexis, 2012)