Target reading time: 3 mins 15 secs
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Purpose boosts self-worth, resilience, and £££

If you’re anything like me, being asked with pseudo-earnestness, “what’s your purpose?” might have you power eye-rolling and reaching for a sick bucket. It’s not the idea, of course I believe in the importance of that, more the terminology that I find jarring - the sickly-sweet, holier-than-thou, loaded gall of the phrase. (Hypocrite warning, worth saying on the contrary that my business partner Joel and I have spent hours and hours on distilling our Heights' purpose!)

It always felt too big, too lofty a concept - like everyone is ever-searching for this immense PURPOSE, which upon its finding will make every other aspect of life fall magically into place, and you get to join the smug enlightened posse in all their know-it-allness.

Let’s rephrase

The only question you need to ask yourself, is why. Knowing why you’re doing something is enough. If you have a reason for your actions, that’s all you need to get alllll the benefits. Of which there are many:

Lowers your emotional reaction to bad things

Knowing what your broader aims are means you are less likely to get wound up in trivialities, or bumps in the road. Stress is unavoidable, but according to Anthony Burrow, a developmental psychologist and director of the Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory at Cornell University - “the key difference between those with purpose, and those with less purpose appears to be in their response. Stressful days are simply less emotionally disruptive to individuals with greater purpose.”

What’s the health benefit? Well, emotional responses to stress trigger inflammation, heart rate variability, chronic health conditions, and even risk of death.

Makes your self-worth less reliant on others’ approval

Having a sense of purpose can protect your self-esteem from the havoc of social media. In this decidedly weird world we live in of follows and likes, and the loaded meanings behind them - knowing why you’re doing what you're doing makes them matter less.

Earns you more £££

In a study that surveyed people from 1995 to 2006, they found that a sense of purpose was linked to a higher net worth. In two interviews over the 10-year period, participants were asked about their sense of purpose, personality traits, life satisfaction, household income, and net worth. Those who reported a strong sense of purpose earned almost $3000 more a year than those who didn’t, and were more likely to up their financial status between interviews.

A purpose, a reason, a why - whatever way you put it - it’s good to have.

FOR THE NERDY: Why are you reading this?

[Source: Psychology Today]

THINK FAST! (your 10 second snippet of science to impress your next meeting/party guests/Uber driver): Did you know that just figuring out why you’re doing what you’re doing can earn you more than $3000 a year?

Brainy Breakfast Bircher

Skip your regular bruised-banana-on-the-way-to-the-train breakfast (RIP), for this make-ahead fuss-free one from nutritionist, Mariana.

"Oats are nutrient dense, packed with dietary fibre and contain protein, which combined, promote satiety and helps maintain the release of energy at a steady pace, which prepares you for the day ahead, rather than give you a quick sugar boost."

-Mariana

Why is it good for my brain?

One of your spice drawers secret health weapons is cinnamon. Not only will it give your brekkie a festive feeling, this antioxidant spice helps to modulate insulin signals, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s. Chia and linseeds are both good sources of plant-based omega 3, which can be beneficial for mental health; and blueberries are pretty much the best brain ingredient there is, (that’s why we use them as one of Heights’ heroes).

See Full Recipe
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Elevation Station

Writer, speaker and brand advisor Terri Trespicio gets into how freaking intimidating this whole thing is, and why it’s ok to Stop. Searching. For. Your. Passion. And just start doing something. (Ted Talk)
If you, like me, struggle with this “purpose” stuff - give this guide from Mark Manson (author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck ) a read. He’s not into any useless bollocks, cuts to the chase and asks real-life relatable questions to help you figure it out. (markmanson.net)
An inspiring interview and masterclass in career pivots with the youngest ever editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue - turned multi-hyphenate, and author Elaine Welteroth. She has a fairly spiritual view on purpose, and the power of doing the things that make sense to you.
Comparison coach, Lucy Sheridan for inspo and northern wisdom pearls about being more yourself, and less everybody else.

Final Thoughts

And like that, it was the last month of the decade.

Crazy right?

As the old adage goes; fail to plan, plan to fail - so I'm planning our first newsletter of 2020 and, stuck for inspiration, I wanted to turn to you.

I think it would be great to feature a round up from our tribe of readers to see what brain health tips YOU have taken on board and put into practice in your daily lives in 2019 to inspire others for the new decade.

Genuinely curious to see what's made an impact, and looking forward to sharing an inspiring collection of these with the rest of our community of brain health pros.

Just hit reply, let me know what you've been doing, and perhaps you'll find yourself featured in our first email of the new decade!

Dan