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Purposeful Aging Checkup (Guest Post)

Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company, is the author of 10 books, including three bestsellers, which have sold over 1 million copies. On April 28, he will join our founder, broadcast journalist Cathy Wurzer, for a live event at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley, Minnesota, to talk about his new book, “Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old?: The Path of Purposeful Aging.” In-person tickets to the event are sold out but you can purchase your virtual tickets here.

By Richard Leider

Are you getting old or growing old? What is your growing self asking of you?

After a certain age, many of us accept the necessity of regular physical checkups. We’re also generally willing to review our financial situation with some regularity.

So if money, medicine, and meaning are all essential to a purposeful life, we might be wise to take guidance from the financial and medical worlds and adopt the practice of a regular checkup on that third dimension to ensure that our spirit – our sense of purpose – remains healthy.

How strong is your sense of purpose? This checkup will clarify your higher spiritual and growth purpose. Your answers may say a lot about your well-being. Studies link a sense of purpose to better physical and mental health. But your purpose isn’t just about you.

According to researchers, a true purpose is one that is personally meaningful and also makes a positive impact on the lives of other people – your family, friends, neighbors, city, country, or, perhaps, the whole world.

Please read each statement carefully and take a few moments to decide on a true response for yourself. Then write the number that most nearly reflects that response. The answers may not come easy, so trust your inner guidance. The answers offer the following range of responses:

1.  Definitely disagree 3.  Somewhat agree
2.  Somewhat disagree 4.  Definitely agree

Having (Outer Life)

______ I derive satisfaction from what I have in my life.
______ I express my creativity in a number of ways.
______ I have found ways to offer my gifts and talents to the world.
______ I have a positive vision for my future.
______ I feel satisfied with my location.
______ My physical energy is vital.
______ I feel satisfied with my personal relationships.
______ Total Having score

Doing (Inner Life)

______ I follow my purpose when making major decisions.
______ I feel content when I am alone.
______ I focus and think clearly.
______ I have the courage to face my adversities.
______ I offer compassion to others readily.
______ I offer forgiveness to others easily.
______ I am growing and developing.
______ Total Doing score 

Being (Spiritual Life)

______ I sense the presence of a Higher Power.
______ I have a regular spiritual practice.
______ I feel a sense of the sacred when I am in the natural world.
______ I feel a sense of gratitude for my life.
______ I maintain a balance of saving and savoring the world.
______ I invest time in making a difference to others or to the world.
______ I know what I want to be remembered for.
______ Total Being score

______  Total Purposeful Aging Checkup score



Having (Outer Life):  The dimension of your external experience and activity – how effectively you relate to the “having” choices in your life.

  • What is your most joyous and meaningful activity?
  • What are your highest values?

Doing (Inner Life):  The dimension of your internal experience and inner activity – how effectively you relate to the “doing” choices in your life.

  • What do you sense might be your true vocation or service?
  • How do you experience selflessness?

Being (Spiritual Life):  The dimension of your invisible experience and spiritual activity – how effectively you relate to the “being” choices in your life.

  • What do you hold sacred in your life?
  • What is your heart’s desire?


Your score in each section is one measure of your development in that dimension. Your total Purposeful Aging Checkup score (out of 84) gives a measure of the power of purpose you are experiencing in your life at present.


Take out a few sheets of paper or your journal and a pen. Find a quiet, peaceful place where you will not be disturbed. Choose a question above, reflect on it, and then write down what comes to mind without analyzing, editing, or judging. Pick another question and do the same. Perhaps, most importantly, savor the moment and enjoy the “inventure” process of self-discovery.

Author, coach, and speaker Richard Leider, is the founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company and author of 10 books, including three bestsellers that have sold over 1 million copies. 

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