Finding Meaning and Purpose

The 19th century poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, wrote, "Live from a deep place." How do you find that "deep place?" How do you know what is your calling, your life purpose? What will offer you zest and vitality because you are engaged in the world in such a way that gives you a sense of meaning? Scholars and spiritual teachers of well-being know that when we align our life purpose, our values, our skills, and express that in our daily activities, then we will find fulfillment all the way through the life cycle.

The series of articles on meaning and purpose will help you access your deepest, most authentic self to translate that knowing into a next career step. The articles will focus on the beliefs and practices that will help you access your "deep place," as well as tips about how to match your life purpose with your next career or job.

How to Access What is Calling You
In what has come to be called The Third Age (over age 50), the motivational speaker Gregg Levoy said at a talk at the last Positive Aging conference, that we "excel at relinquishing familiarity, of letting go of who we are for whom we will become."

Discovering Your Positive Work Self Through "Appreciative Inquiry"
If you believe that like attracts like, that negativity attracts the same, it follows that positivity attracts positivity. There's evidence for this in our own individual system - the more we focus on positive affirmations, the better we feel.

Your Thoughts are Theories About the World -
Open to Re-Examination and Restructuring

Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology and creator of the Authentic Happiness website, wrote that those who are, by nature, optimistic, seem to be more effective in getting what they want.

Live With Purpose - Going From Success to Significance
"To live with purpose or without is a choice. And the choice is ours," is Dychtwald's mantra. He believes that to make life truly worth living, one must have a sense of purpose.

The Purpose Linked Organization
"Purpose is the driver that propels us through life and gives meaning to our daily existence ... Without purpose, and its outward expression through our passions, life becomes a series of unconnected activities that do not lead to a sense of fulfillment and joy so vital to our well-being." So wrote Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon.

Book Review: The Third Chapter
Read about the adventures of exploration, risk taking and new learning described in The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, distinguished sociologist from the Harvard School of Education.

Be Here Now, Instead of Numbing Out or Being Frenetic
If you're sick of your job, but go to work every day, grateful that you still have your job ... Or if you've been laid off in the rash of downsizings - you might take one of two different routes to respond to the malaise you've encountered.

Finding Your Life Purpose Directs Your Career Efforts
Lately I've been interviewing Boomers and older for my new TV show, called "Alivelihood: New Careers As We Age." I've been curious about what themes I can discover that make all of these people seem so "alive," so purposeful, in describing their new ventures.

"Encore Careerists" Are Good at Finding "ALivelihood"
I just launched a cable access TV show, called "ALivelihood: New Careers As We Age." (see Finding people to interview has again brought me to the recognition of how important it is for us to work at something meaningful, whether paid or volunteer.

Maintaining a Vision of The Good Life in a Time of Change
When you think of living the Good Life, what experiences define that state for you? Is it peace of mind? Security in knowing that whatever happens, you will always have your basic needs taken care of?

Can You Create Work That Gives You a Sense of Purpose, Even in a Time of Scarcity?
Coaches and career consultants often counsel us to "discover your life's purpose" before committing to your next job or career. This is all well and good, if you have a steady income and a tolerable job.

Discover What Values Matter Most to You
Last month I talked about finding purpose in work by combining "savoring" and "saving." Now we're going to drill down on that premise by making it more personal to your situation. If you're reading this column, then you have some curiosity about what it would be like for you to work with a sense of purpose.

Savor Your Work By Working With a Sense of Purpose
Are you ready to create a life of meaning and purpose in the next stage of your life? Have you, like many of us, worked in a job or career that gave you and your family a decent income, that pleased your parents, or that seemed practical and logical for you when you entered the job market?