What Keeps You Going Everyday?

Well-being is a combination of five interrelated elements that, when balanced, lead to a fuller, healthier existence. This is the first of a five-part series on the Five Elements of Well-being, a healthy life initiative from Texas Health Resources.

Sense of Purpose

Do you wake up every day with something you look forward to doing? Do you love what you do every day? 

There is something that consumes your time, whether it’s your job, your schooling, volunteer efforts, or even working in the home raising children, working on a home-based business or something else. In other words, you do something of value every day. If you are passionate about what drives you, it also contributes positively to your overall well-being.

Tricia Nguyen, M.D.

Tricia Nguyen, M.D.

What is it that gets you out of bed every morning? Is it just your alarm clock? Or, is there a bigger reason?

Studies show that people who use their strengths are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life. You often hear from people who are celebrated for following their passions — excellent teachers, celebrated artists, well-known musicians and more — that they simply couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and that they would probably follow that pursuit even if they weren’t being paid for it.

“Sure, everyone experiences stress,” says Tricia Nguyen, M.D., executive vice president of population health and president of Texas Health Population Health, Education & Innovation Center. “We all face things we can’t control in terms of our pursuits. However, if you get burnt out after only 20 hours of work per week, it might be time to put your energy elsewhere. If you don’t have the opportunity to regularly do something you enjoy, the odds of you having high well-being in other areas, such as physical health, diminish rapidly.”

People with a high sense of purpose are more than twice as likely to be thriving in their lives overall, making sense of purpose one of the most essential elements of being well.

Are you following your passion? How can you improve your own sense of purpose? Tell us about it.

For more information on how to improve your well-being, visit TexasHealth.org/Well-Being.

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