Meaning and Purpose in Life: What Is It, Why Should I Care and How Can I Get Some
Free Public Lecture
Carrillo Gantner Theatre
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
761 Swanston Street
T: 8344 1455
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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.
Professor Michael Steger, Director and Founder, Centre for Meaning and Purpose
Professor Michael Steger
Director and Founder, Centre for Meaning and Purpose
Colorado State University
Michael is the founder and Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose, as well as being a professor of psychology at Colorado State University. He is endlessly curious about learning how to create a life worth living, and this focus is the inspiration for his research. He has spent the better part of two decades studying the vital role that meaning and purpose play in our work, health, relationships, growth, and happiness. Mike is a soughtafter speaker around the world due to his wideranging knowledge of meaning, purpose, and positive psychology, presented with humor, humility, empathy, and passion. He has published more than 120 scientific papers, including influential theory and research that has profoundly shaped the way the field understands and measures meaning in life and work purpose and meaning, as well as three published books, Designing Positive Psychology, Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace, and The Handbook of Positivity and StrengthsBased Approaches at Work. He always looks for opportunities to teach and collaborate with others, and has worked with companies, nonprofits, and schools across the globe to help them develop tools to nurture meaning. He gratefully receives daily lessons about authenticity, humility, and making a difference from his partner and two children.