The Importance of Finding Purpose
I was thinking about Wellbeing and, because I teach the professional development workshops in Wellbeing to teachers, what could I talk about that’s a little bit different, that I don’t cover in the usual wellbeing workshops.
I started thinking about different aspects of Wellbeing and things that we know, through science, contribute to Wellbeing – that we actually have a causal link to being able to produce neurobiological changes – actual changes in the brain and body, in a way that we know that by practicing them we can change our biochemistry and neurology to actually BEING healthier. Mentally more well.
And I started thinking about purpose.
Which is what I’m going to talk to you briefly about today.
We have the neuroscience to tell us that having Purpose in life is a really important quality which is critically related to well-being, because it is related to resilience.
People who have direction in life / strong sense purpose / report that life is about something more than just themselves – these people show on robust objective measures, greater resilience. That is, psychologically and neurologically – they’ve measured this in the brain – they have an increased capacity to recover from adversity.
As we start to uncover purpose, we begin to reveal qualities that give us a sense of contentment / meaning in ways that don’t depend on external circumstances.
So this is really relevant amidst the challenging times such as the one we find ourselves in now.
If we can find a sense of purpose / meaning it will be beneficial in helping us respond to this situation.
Knowing this, don’t you think this could be something that could be really helpful? And something that we could help our kids with too?
So let’s look / unpack this a little more.
When I talk about purpose I’m not talking about having to figure out the meaning of life and what that is to you – although that’s always a good question to have your frontal lobe ponder!..
When it comes to training the mind in Purpose, in order that you have the trait of purpose, meaning, you ARE purposeful, as opposed to dropping in / feeling a bit of purpose / meaning every now and again. There’s a difference right. One is wired in you and it’s who you are,.. the other’s a state that you can visit but you’re going to pop back to your baseline in moments when you’re not consciously thinking about it, unless you’ve wired it in!
We know that the more purposeful we are, the more meaning we attribute / ascribe to life, the better. So we want to have purpose and meaning as a part of our integral being, not just a state that we drop into now and again.
So how do we do that? How do we go from state to trait, as Dr Rick Hanson says?
The trick is to be able to expand our sense of purpose to more and more of what we do in our everyday, ordinary lives.
We often think about doing special activities that help us express our deep values like volunteering or joining a specific group or community to take action. But training our mind in Purpose allows us to infuse even mundane activities with sense of what’s important to us.
When we practice training our Mind in Purpose we are doing 3 things:
1. Clarifying our values – what’s important to us
When we get clear about our values we can live in a way that’s aligned to them as we go through life.
Then we can
2. Embody our values
and finally, when we embody our values we start to find a
3. Higher purpose
As we start to Infuse our lives with a sense of meaning we start to naturally ask more questions and begin to get in touch with something greater than our selves – a higher purpose.
These are areas we don’t normally think about in relation to Wellbeing but we know they’re intricately connected.
We know that if we have Purpose and Meaning in our lives we are better able to cope with adversity and changing times and bounce back quicker.
So, How often do you reflect on your values and purpose?
I hope you’re doing great. I hope your kids are doing great. I hope you can see the sunshine above the clouds…have fun making meaning and being on purpose this week.
Big love from me…