Purpose and Meaing in Life

A statistic made the news several years ago and every now and then surfaces again in the media (I first heard of this insight from my friend, colleague and mentor, Larry Dossey, M.D.). More people suffer (and die) of heart attacks in the US on Monday morning between the hours and 8-10 than any other time during the week. When those who survived the heart attack were questioned, it was learned that many people expressed how much they didn’t like their jobs. Further exploration revealed that these people admitted to a lack of purpose in meaning in their lives (most likely as a result of not liking their jobs). Wisdom keepers the world over will tell you that a meaningful purpose in life is the corner stone to human spirituality. A strong purpose in life contributes to the health of one’s human spirit. A lack of purpose will quickly affect mind, body and spirit. Psychologists and therapists (if they are honest) will tell you that a lack of purpose in meaning in one’s life is a colossal stressor in one’s life. Not having a significant meaning in life lays the foundation for strife and perhaps ultimately depression for a great many people: The empty nest syndrome, Olympic blues, the midlife crisis, retirement blues and now even the recession blues are some examples of this scenario, but I have also seen it in college students as well. Finding a purpose in life isn’t an overnight sensation and it is fair to say that we will have many purposes in the course of our life.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
What gets you out of bed each morning and encourages you to embrace the world with enthusiasm? If you can answer this question, consider picking up the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and give it a quick read (even if you have already read it before). This book was required reading as one of my graduate courses in health psychology and ever since reading I recommend it to everyone. I think it should be required reading for the world (and I am not alone).

• Links Worth Noting:
The documentary film, The Cove, won great praise at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It explores the Japanese killing of whales. Rolling Stone magazine describes this movie as the Borne Identity meets flipper. Here are a few links from the trailer to reviews. Knowledge is power.






• Photo of the Day:
While in Sitka, Alaska last week I was priviledged to have walked/hiked through an old growth cathedral forest of thousands of Sitka Spruce, some of which were over 800 years old. It is a very humbling experience to walk through a forest of trees that stand guard over the planet. I always wanted to photograph trees looking up to capture the magnitude of the experience. Here is my best effort. Enjoy.

• Quote for the Day: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”
— Albert Einstein

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

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