Does your life have a purpose, or are you just a drifter? Quiz

Does your life have purpose? Are you a drifter or do you have a cast iron plan for the future? To find out, answer the following….


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Does your life have a purpose, or are you just a drifter? Quiz” was written by Ben Ambridge, for The Observer on Sunday 19th February 2017 06.00 UTC

Does your life have purpose? Are you a drifter or do you have a cast iron plan for the future? To find out, answer the following three statements on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Add them up and divide by three for an average score.

1. Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them.

2. I think about the future, rather than living one day at a time.

3. I rarely experience the feeling that I’ve done all there is to do in life.

In this particular study, led by psychologist Patrick Hill from Carleton University, Canada, the average score, across a nationally representative sample of 7,000 participants, was 5.5/7. So if you scored 5 or less, you count as something of a drifter. If you scored 6 or 7, congratulations, you are more purposeful than the average American. You may live longer, too. Although published in 2014, Hill’s study was actually a longitudinal study, with participants originally completing the questionnaire in 2000. The study found that longevity of respondents (around 9% died during the 14-year period) was linked to higher scores on sense of purpose. Although correlation does not demonstrate causation, the relationship between purposefulness and longevity was still significant after taking into account elements such as age at the start of the study, gender and education. The lesson is clear: if you want to live a long life, live a life that’s purposeful.

A fully referenced version of this article is available at benambridge.com. Order Psy-Q by Ben Ambridge (Profile Books, £8.99) for £6.99 at bookshop.theguardian.com

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