Meaning and Purpose in Life: What Is It, Why Should I Care and How Can I Get Some

The quest for meaning is a longtime companion of the human condition. In fact, it may be as old as human culture itself. We begin our exploration of the quest for meaning and purpose with early writing and artifacts that show that many of the ways we talk about meaning are thousands of years old. Despite these millennia of seeking, we are living in a golden age of answers about meaning. We will look at how psychology has framed the question of “what is the meaning of life” in distinctly personal terms, and how it has used rigorous scientific research to forge a deep body of knowledge about the contributions meaning and purpose make to health, relationships, happiness, self-understanding, and even longevity. We end our journey through the eons with a confronting bit of truth: No question that has puzzled us for scores of centuries has an easy answer. Yet, we have learned ways of answering our own questions of meaning, in our own lives. We will close with a dive into several such ways of embracing the question of meaning and purpose in our lives.

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