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Our Cause


What is Purpose?

The word “purpose”, by definition, is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.[1]  Based on the creation theory, everything on this planet has a purpose by intent from its creator.   We as human beings have a purpose because our life was created into existence by intent from our Creator. We refer to this human aspect of purpose as “human purpose”.

There are several different categories of human purpose but not all satisfy our innermost desire for meaning and significance. For example, one absolute aspect of human purpose is the need to survive. Therefore, as human beings, we are motivated to satisfy our basic needs (e.g., safety, food, shelter, etc.) as a human purpose for surviving. However, one could argue that the mere satisfaction of our basic needs to survive does not necessarily make us feel like we have achieved meaning and significance. When we use the term “Purpose” in our organization and throughout this site, we are referring to the aspect of your human purpose that brings meaning and significance to life. Therefore, we define “Purpose” as the original intent designed and animated by our Creator that brings meaning and significance to life.

A Sense of Purpose

“A ‘sense of purpose’ is the quality of having and the motivation to have meaning and significance.”  ~ Bruce Francois

 Our cause is focused on empowering people to have a strong sense of purpose.

A Fundamental Human Need

A sense of purpose is one of our fundamental human needs in life.  It is as important of a human need just like our need for food, water and shelter. A sense of purpose is the cornerstone of our identity as it helps us establish a sense of identity.[2]  It drives us to answer the questions: who am I?, why am I here? where am I going? what am I to do while I am here?  It controls how we cope with the conditions of our environment when our human needs are not satisfied.  It grounds us in our need to belong and to feel loved as a measure of being significant and valued. 

A sense of purpose gives reason for hope and ignites the human spirit towards self-actualization. Self-actualization is a person’s motivation to reach his or her full potential. The need for self-actualization drives the desire to experience Purpose, meaning and your inner potential.

The need for self-actualization, belongness and identity are evidenced in major psychological theories on human need, such as renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs [3] and Manfred Max-Neef’s Fundamental Needs theory.[4]  Although Maslow’s and Max-Neef’s theories both looked at the motivations of human needs from different perspectives, they both recognized their interdependent aspects. Maslow asserted through his pyramid model that the motivation of human needs is hierarchical. Humans are first motivated to satisfy basic needs (food, shelter, safety, security, etc.) at the bottom of the pyramid before the need for self-actualization at the top of the pyramid can be realized. In Max-Neef’s model, human needs are understood as a system with each human need being interrelated and interactive with the other.

Our holistic approach for addressing human needs is based on Max-Neef’s model. Our solutions are based on theories that support the notion that human action and behavior are influenced by the causal effects of satisfying interrelated and interactive human needs. The human action and behavior required for purposeful-living are influenced by the causal effects of satisfying unmet human needs. Some of the causal effects can be positive and synergistic while others can be negative creating roadblocks on your purpose journey.

One of the goals of our organization is to enable opportunities and connections to help satisfy the unmet needs that serve as barriers in your purpose journey while promoting the conditioning experiences that are positive.

Why Purpose Matters?

Purpose is important for our social, psychological well-being and personal mental health.  As defined by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), “mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being.[5]  It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”  HHS also directly ties the ability to realize one’s full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively and make meaningful contributions to communities to one’s positive mental health.

A Lack of Purpose Plays a Factor in Major Social Issues

We believe a lack of purpose is a impending tragedy and plays a factor in major social issues. Many of today’s major social issues and conflicts result from people not being able to satisfy or cope without a variety of human needs. Human needs are interrelated and interactive with the ability to influence each other when unmet or satisfied. Therefore, a sense of purpose or lack thereof, could directly influence conflict or indirectly influence other human needs that contribute to social conflict. Research has proven that when our basic human needs are not satisfied, the consequences impact our personal health and interpersonal relationships and may lead to intractable conflict.[6] The effects from these impacts, increase the risks for hopelessness, unhappiness and civil conflict and may even materialize into major social issues.   

Hopelessness

Hopelessness is the feeling or state of despair.  The feeling of hopelessness is evidenced in conditions such as: Emotional depression, suicide or attempted suicide, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) [7], as well as experiences from major life events like divorce, loss of a loved one or tragedy.

  • Depression - feelings of or state of being  sad, despondent and dejected. Most people feel depressed as a normal reaction to life’s stressors. However, some people experience feelings of depressions where they are no longer able to carry on with normal life and have to be clinically treated.
  • Suicide/Attempted Suicide - suicide is one of the leading cause of death in the US and the 2nd leading cause of death between the ages of 15-34 per the Center for Disease & Control, 2015.  Every year, there are over 800,000 suicides worldwide per the World Health Organization (WHO)[8] 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder some people develop after experiencing a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.[9] An estimated 8% of Americans – that’s 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time. An estimated 1 out of 10 women develops PTSD; women are about twice as likely as men.[26] Learn more about PTSD at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml)
  • Major Life Events 
    • Broken Marriages and Relationships - the feeling of hopelessness can occur during or after a broken marriage or relationship
    • Loss of a loved one - hopelessness can result from prolonged grief or sadness
    • Tragedy - the loss of life and the displacement effects from wars and natural disasters can create feelings of hopelessness and distress 

Civil Unrest

Intractable conflict occurs when certain human needs are threatened or not satisfied. The human need for  identity, or a sense of self, is one of the critical factors in most intractable conflicts.[6] Civil unrest and killings from racial, gender or religious biases are examples of intractable conflicts where identity is threatened.  A sense of purpose is a foundational aspect of one’s identity. Without it, our sense of self becomes vulnerable.

Benefits of Purpose


Health & Wellness

A sense of purpose:

  • Increases happiness[10]
  • Strengthens your sense of self by leading to a greater, positive self-image, less delinquency and better transitioning into older years
  • Brings wellness[11]
  • Prevents or manages depression: much of our mental anguish, stress and depression is linked to rumination and worry-based, self-referential thoughts[12, 13]
  • Adds longevity to life reducing the risk of death by 15%[12]
  • Protects against sleep apnea in adults[14]
  • Beneficially changes gene expression (higher levels of antibodies and anti-viral genes)[15]
  • Improves memory, executive function and cognitive function[15]
  • Purposeful people have stronger immune systems, as well as a reduced risk of disability and certain diseases[16, 17]

Coping Mechanism

  • A sense of purpose helps control how we adapt and cope with conditions of unmet needs and the stresses in our environment
  • A sense of purpose  keeps us grounded in how we approach difficult situations or suffering.[18] 

Social Consciousness

  • Individuals with high levels of purpose are 50% more likely to donate money to charitable causes or volunteer their time than those with low levels.[19]    
  • Serving  others, whether through volunteering and other forms of charitable giving, have a positive effect on social psychological factors, such as one’s sense of purpose and meaning in life.[20, 21] 

Employee Engagement & Productivity

  • Employees with a strong sense of purpose are at least four times more likely to be engaged in their jobs as other employees, according to research Gallup’s Global Well-Being Index[22,25]
  • Purpose leads to higher employee engagement with 73 percent of employees who say they work at a "purpose-driven" company are engaged, compared to just 23 percent of those who don't.
  • Purpose improves Corporate confidence[23]
  • When an employee’s and the Company’s purpose align, it creates a symbiotic relationship where the employee forms “a deep, almost spiritual, commitment to deploying all aspects of the employee’s life (e.g., work and home), to making the world a better place and helping the organization be a contributing part of their personal purpose”[24]

Discovering your Purpose

Purposeful-living is a personal journey that involves a continuous process of discovering and operating in your Purpose. Our organization seeks to offer solutions that promote experiential learning that helps you throughout this continuous process.  Learn more about our experience model.

How to find your Purpose

Discovering your Purpose requires you to continuously Believe in yourself, Discover yourself and Deploy yourself.  

  1. BELIEVE - You must believe your Purpose into existence.  Believe you have a Purpose.  Believe in your Purpose.  Believe in the source of your Purpose. Believe in yourself and something bigger than yourself.
  2. DISCOVER - The ultimate discovery experience requires a deep encounter with your inner self and a spiritual connection with your Creator which traditionally have been observed in spiritually-based practices and organized religion. However, you can gain some insights about you Purpose by learning about your innate abilities, unique traits and characteristics that help you operate in your Purpose.  Learn more about how your abilities, attitudes, needs and experiences influence your purpose-living experience with our PurposePOWERTM  Assessment tool.  
  3. DEPLOY - The most fulfilling part of your purpose-journey is when you bring the discoveries of yourself into effective action. Reaching this point means you have enough awareness of yourself and your Purpose to operate in it. You have agility in your attitude to continuously look for new ways to discover, connect, grow and contribute as a daily practice for purposeful-living.

Citation Resources

[1] Oxford Dictionary: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/

[2] Burrow, A. L., & Hill, P. L. “Purpose as a form of identity capital for positive youth adjustment.” Developmental psychology. 2011: 47(4), 1196–206. 

[3] Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html 

[4] Max-Neef M.  Human scale development. New York: The Apex Press; 1991.

[5] What is Mental Health? https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/index.html

[6] Kriesberg, Louis. "Identity Issues." Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: July 2003 http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/identity-issues.

[7] Hopelessness, defeat, and entrapment in posttraumatic stress disorder: their association with suicidal behavior and severity of depression.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22850302

[8] Suicide Data: http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

[9] Post Tramatic Stress Disorder Overview: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

[10] Burrow, A. L., & Hill, P. L. “Purpose as a form of identity capital for positive youth adjustment.” Developmental psychology. 2011: 47(4), 1196–206. 

[11] 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Having a Sense of Purpose: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-science-backed-health-benefits-of-having-a-sense-of-purpose.html

[12] People Who Feel They Have A Purpose In Life Live Longer: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/07/28/334447274/people-who-feel-they-have-a-purpose-in-life-live-longer

[13] 5 Benefits of Having a Purpose: http://www.psyweb.com/lifestyle/depression/5-benefits-of-having-a-purpose

[14] Is purpose in life associated with less sleep disturbance in older adults?: https://sleep.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41606-017-0015-6; Ryff and Keyes 1995; Boyle et al. 2009)

[15] The Science of Giving Back: How Having A Purpose Is Good For Body And Brain:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/07/10/the-science-of-giving-back-how-having-a-purpose-is-good-for-body-and-brain/#15e7782f6146

[16] Fredrickson, B. L., Grewen, K. M., Coffey, K. A., Algoe, S. B., Firestine, A. M., Arevalo, J. M., & Cole, S. W. “A functional genomic perspective on human well-being.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013: 110(33), 13684-13689.

[17] Boyle, P. A., Barnes, L. L., Buchman, A. S., Bennett, D. A. “Purpose in Life Is Associated With Mortality Among Community-Dwelling Older Persons.” Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine. June 2009: 71(5) 574-579

[18] Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy: http://www.logotherapyinstitute.org/About_Logotherapy.html

[19] Gallup, Inc. and Healthways, Inc. “Global Well-Being: Results of the Gallup Healthways Global Well-Being Index.” 2014. Retrieved from http://www.well-beingindex.com/download

[20] Is Serving Others the Key to Meaning and Purpose?: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intentional-insights/201607/is-serving-others-the-key-meaning-and-purpose

[21] Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC 2007. 

[22] Gallup, Inc. and Healthways, Inc. “Global Well-Being: Results of the Gallup Healthways Global Well-Being Index.” 2014. Retrieved from http://www.well-beingindex.com/download

[23] How a Sense of Purpose Boosts Engagement: https://www.inc.com/adam-vaccaro/purpose-employee-engagement.html

[24] The role of personal purpose and personal goals in symbiotic visions: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4396129/

[25] Being Happy at Work Matters: https://hbr.org/2014/11/being-happy-at-work-matters

[26] Sidran Institute:https://www.sidran.org/resources/for-survivors-and-loved-ones/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-fact-sheet-2/