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Origins of Purpose in Life: Refining our Understanding of a Life Well Lived

Todd B. Kashdan ; George Mason University
Patrick E. McKnight ; George Mason University

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 73 Kb

str. 303-313

preuzimanja: 5.140



Purpose can be characterized as a central, self-organizing life aim. Central in that when present, purpose is a predominant theme of a person’s identity. Self-organizing in that it provides a framework for systematic behavior patterns in everyday life. As a life aim, a purpose generates continual goals and targets for efforts to be devoted. A purpose provides a bedrock foundation that allows a person to be more resilient to obstacles, stress, and strain. In this paper, we outline a theoretical model of purpose development. Besides outlining various essential ingredients to creating a purpose in life, we describe three broad pathways. The first process is proactive involving effort over time and only resulting in a purpose after gradual refinement and clarification. The second process is reactive involving a transformative life event where a purpose arises and adds clarity to the person's life. The third process is social learning - involving the formation of purpose through observation, imitation, and modeling. Our aim is to stimulate more research on this higher-level construct in the architecture of personality.

Ključne riječi

Purpose, meaning in life, well-being, strivings, interests, curiosity

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