What is the meaning of life? But if you’re still searching, take solace in the fact that scientists may have finally found the age when purpose becomes clear. Knowing the answer could be a boon to your physical and mental health — humans tend to thrive with a sense of purpose, their results suggest.
Interviews with 1,042 people aged 21 to more than 100 years old reveal that people tend to feel like their lives have meaning at around age 60. That’s the age at which the search for meaning is often at it’s lowest, and the “presence” of meaning is at it’s highest, according to a new paper published this week in the journal Clinical Psychiatry.
If you’re a twenty-something ruminating about your life’s purpose, that may seem like a long time to wait. But take heart: If this study tells us anything, it’s that the ennui-fueled search for meaning in your early life is normal, and, even after 60, it doesn’t actually ever end. Instead, people may readjust how they derive purpose as they age.