By Katherine Olivetti

I subscribe to Harvard’s medical news because I want to know the latest research about health and wellbeing.  In February 2017, Harvard published an article about how some folks live into their tenth decade with…

no disease or serious illness.

I want to know how that’s possible because I want to live that way.

“Wellderlies” is a word that combines wellness and elderly and is derived from the Wellderly Study. I want to be in that gang!  The study of these folks was begun in 2007 by Scripps Translational Science Institute because they wanted to unlock the genetic secrets behind lifelong health.

Here’s some of what they found:

Dr. Ardeshir Hashmi, medical director for Massachusetts General Hospital, Senior Health which is affiliated with Harvard said, “Wellderlies tend to be optimistic about life and have a strong sense of purpose.”  Those individuals who embrace optimism and are purpose-driven exhibit a lower risk of heart disease and early death.  “Research in the February/March 2016 Psychosomatic Medicine…found that a high sense of purpose is associated with a 23% reduction in death from all causes and a 19% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or the need for a bypass or stent procedure.”

The evidence is clear—an optimistic, purposive mindset is key.   Here are some situations where no one questions whether the sense of purpose is evident or clear:

  • A mother with her new baby.
  • An entrepreneur who’s involved starting up a new venture.
  • An author who has just sent in a book proposal.
  • A newly married couple setting up housekeeping.

At significant moments of life, purpose is clear.

When you leave a meaningful endeavor you don’t always take your purpose with you.  Indeed, often you are leaving behind a phase of life that was full of purpose and meaning.  The outlook might seem bleak, uncertain, like a big gaping empty hole.

Our work at LIFE REINSPIRED is helping individuals who have completed a meaningful phase of life, find the next, meaningful chapter. We navigate that in-between space between one meaningful chapter and the next with you.  We help you dig down into the wisest part of yourself to find the answer to the question: How do I find the next purpose to drive my life forward?

Katherine Olivetti is Co-Founder of Life Reinspired, a reset lab for successful Baby Boomers contemplating a meaningful next chapter of life. She is a practicing Jungian psychoanalyst, family therapist, coach, writer, and editor, training professionals throughout the world.