When we started this journey, we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. We believed that people would come along with us on this quest to find purpose through generosity (Purposity), but we didn’t quite conceptualize how quickly our idea would spread.
We’re just a group of social entrepreneurs who thought this was a cool idea and wanted to change the world. Yes, yes, we know that sounds a bit cliché, but it’s the truth. We’ve been overwhelmed (in a “holy cow this is amazing kind of way”) with how many people get it. Purposity cuts across age, race and gender to unite communities around a common purpose. It’s powerful, and honestly, a bit humbling to watch.
With so many people flocking to Purposity, we had to ask, exactly how powerful is purpose?
Well, actually…it’s quite powerful. In fact, it’s right up there with regular exercise when it comes to heart health. If you’re thinking there’s no way that can be true, we know. We were just as surprised. But, a study of 136,000 people conducted by a team at Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital in New York City found just that. Living with purpose enhances heart health, similarly to exercise. Nope, not kidding. Researchers found that people who identified as having purpose saw reduced rates of mortality and cardiovascular disease at the same rate as those who exercised.
Among their other findings, they also uncovered a decreased rate of Alzheimer’s, 52%, for those who rated themselves as having a highly purposeful life. The rate of dementia and strokes also significantly decreased among the same group of patients. Say what?
In addition to physical outcomes, there are profound psychological effects. For example, living with a high sense of purpose helps combat stress by reducing the level of cortisol in the brain. Studies also suggest it helps decrease feelings of anxiety for many individuals, and who couldn’t use a little less anxiety in their life?
Now, we’re not actually suggesting that you skip the treadmill and instead fulfill a need on Purposity three times a week (though feel free to do both). But, these findings do suggest that there is a powerful link between purpose and overall well being, both physical and psychological, which helps explain why Purposity is catching on so quickly.
We certainly feel it, though we’re all still eating our veggies and hitting the gym, and hope you do too. Also, we hope you’ll help us spread the word about purpose and its power to transform lives. So, please share us, tweet us, Instagram us, text about us or shout our names from the rooftops. Let’s help others find purpose and build communities doing it.