Purpose, Vitality, and the Perception of Challenges

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To further support mental organization, try this top-down approach to having the best life possible: Think of your life as having three main components: Vitality, Purpose, and Challenges.

Consider the adjacent chart. Where do you land on it? Are you,

  • full of purpose but low on vitality?
  • low on both?
  • full of vitality but low on purpose?

Why is it important to have both? Because being full of purpose with little vitality is like having a roadmap for a vacation, but no gasoline to fuel the car. Being full of vitality with little purpose is like having plenty of gasoline but no idea how to get to your destination.

Generally speaking, we should all be striving to improve both our vitality and sense of purpose. Our lives will work out best if we pursue them continuously and mindfully. Perhaps the most important takeaway is that as you increase your vitality and sense of purpose, you decrease your perception of life's challenges.

For example, if you have no vitality and no sense of purpose, simply attending to routine life-maintenance chores can seem overwhelming. You have no reason to do anything and no energy to do it with. On the other hand, if you are full of vitality and know precisely what you want to do with your life, you will see routine chores as very minor obstacles, worth doing because you are enthusiastically carrying out your purpose.

Here is a more concrete example. I am enjoying creating this web page because it will help me to help other people. Also, I like the creative process. But even though the typing and HTML formatting is tedious, I don't mind because it moves me in a nice direction, one that I care about. One that aligns with my purpose. However, if someone asked me to type in the text for web pages about farm equipment in Turkey, the typing and formatting would seem very tiresome because I am not at all invested in that subject.

Improving Your Vitality and Sense of Purpose

There are both mental and physical vitalities. You can think of mental vitality as cognitive and emotional vigor. And physical vitality as feeling healthy, capable, and energetic.

Each affects the other. It goes without saying that exercise and physical fitness support your sense of well-being. But what about the other side of the coin? Does mental vitality support your physical health and energy? According to this article, How Does Mental Health Affect Physical Health, poor mental health is linked to many chronic illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Severe mental health problems can also reduce your longevity by as much as 25 years.

How then can we improve both our mental and physical vitality? Actually, that is what the coaching process described on this website is all about. All of the life-improving themes described here: Growth and Transformation Model will support improving your mental or physical vitality. Or both!

And the best part is that improving your vitality likely lead to fewer challenges AND will reduce your perception of the challenges that remain!