Living with Purpose

#2 in Dan Buettner's Power 9, secrets to longevity, is Purpose.  The Okinawans call it “Ikigai” and the Nicoyans call it “plan de vida;” for both it translates to “why I wake up in the morning.” Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy. To create a clearer sense of purpose, Buettner recommends on his Blue Zones website making a personal mission statement. Well known author, Stephen Covey suggests "a personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every other decision we make." Here are some tips for creating your own personal mission statement from Blue Zones: Keep it simple. If it is too complicated, you won't achieve it. Focus on who you want to become as a person, no matter what stage of life you are in. Keep it positive. Use "do" statements – not "stop doing" statements Think of others as your mirror. How are your actions, habits and behaviors impacting relationships in your life? Let it guide you. Structure it to direct your day-to-day actions and decisions. Is it in balance? Does it align with your personal or professional goals? Reach for the stars but be realistic. Make it emotional and aspirational. Lastly, remember that your mission statement is not cast in stone. It will continue to change and evolve as you gain insights about yourself and what you want out of each stage of your life. For more about Power 9, Blue Zones and Dan Buettner, visit