Blue Zones: Purpose

A request for a full manuscript today makes me happy. I have had many requests for partials, but historically this is my first request for a full, as Hulk Hercules was not written when I received the contract for it. This is not a big deal to anyone but the Writer Tamago. But you know, experience joy as it comes and all that.


You might remember from last week that as part of our wellness program at work, one of the ways we can earn points is to take the Blue Zone pledge and try to change our lifestyles to more healthy lifestyles. I thought that it might be interesting to reflect on some of the changes that are suggested by the Power 9, those 9 traits that are the same from those areas of longevity from all over the world. Because I don’t have to go in order, I thought I would start by talking about number 2, purpose.

Let me quote that sucker for you: 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

This seems to be a very important idea. I could quote all sorts of cliches about work being fun, or enjoying life, but I will spare you. In my own case, I find that teaching gives me a sense of giving back, so I wouldn’t want to give that up. I also find that I have to create, and art is an important part of life, whether I’m working on a fabric project, music, or writing. Creating makes me feel like I am closer to the divine.

Many people may not have a good sense of purpose. I am a lucky person–I have a job that I love and the ability to make art, so I feel like my life is aligned with my sense of purpose. How do you discover your purpose? If you can’t work in the zone that makes you feel purposeful, in what other ways do you find your purpose? What if nothing in your current life makes you happy?

A good place to start is the Blue Zone site. There are quizzes you can take, books you can read. These things can lead to other explorations. I’m not a trained counselor, but sometimes I wonder if we would find more purpose if we were less isolated, or less stressed. Or even drank more. And, coincidentally, all those things are more Power 9 strategies.


Next time, I’ll skip the self-help groove. I promised you some research, and I think I will begin talking to you about Egyptian gods. Be there or be square (as in a pyramid base.)

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

4 thoughts on “Blue Zones: Purpose”

  1. Of course that’s a big deal! Congrats!! I’m assuming this is for Abby Rath?

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