Summary Resilience Module 1: Purpose and Fulfillment

Resilience 1: Purpose and Fulfillment

This is a summary of the module Resilience 1: Purpose and Fulfillment for your reference.

Finding your purpose

Resilience is the ability to adapt and recover from difficult situations. A “sense of purpose” in life is one way you can enhance your resilience. But why is it important?

Dr. Angela Duckworth, an expert in the field of purpose, gives this explanation:

“Interest is one source of passion. Purpose—the intention to contribute to the well-being of others—is another.” By this definition, purpose is a type of passion that affects the lives of others and overall humanity.

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A sense of purpose is associated with increased life expectancy and improved mental and physical well-being. Beyond the health benefits, it can motivate us to reach our goals, help us stay aligned with our values, and provide a sense of fulfillment.

climb towards goal for purpose and fulfillment slide

You can think of your sense of purpose in life as your unique “Why?”

You might be thinking, “I am not sure about my sense of purpose.” That’s ok! Maybe you’ve never thought about it before.

Start to reflect on the “Why” in your life. Think about the following questions and write what comes to mind for each of them. 

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What brings you joy? ______________________________________

What excites or motivates you? ______________________________________

What are your passions or interests? (e.g. music, pets, climate, local politics) ______________________________________

Who or what would you like to impact in your life? (e.g. people, places, things; specific or broad) ______________________________________

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Creating a personal mission statement

One way to start to imagine your purpose is by creating a “personal mission statement.” A personal mission statement maps out your values and goals.

It can give you direction when you are feeling lost or overwhelmed. As humans, we are changing daily, so your personal mission statement may change as you grow and learn.

Follow steps 1 to 5 to develop your personal mission statement.

Step 1: Identify your core values

“Values” are the underlying principles in your life that guide your decisions.

To discover these, think of some times you felt proud or accomplished. 

Write down examples of times you felt proud or accomplished. ______________________________________

Was there a similar theme or connection between your examples? (e.g., similar goals, emotions) ______________________________________

Start reflecting on your core values using the worksheet provided in the Goodpath Resilience Workbook. There you will find a list of core values to give you some ideas.

What did you select as your top two core values? ______________________________________

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Step 2: Acknowledge your skills

Now that you have identified important values, start to connect those values with some of your skills. 

For example, if you picked compassion as a core value, how do you show compassion? Do you enjoy volunteering? Are you a great listener when someone is having a bad day?

Write down some ideas here by filling out this sentence.

"I display [core value] by [skills/actions that display your values]."

Step 3: Discover your passions

Your passion is also connected to values. Dr. Bill Damon, a professor and researcher in purpose suggests finding a “purposeful role model“ to uncover your passions and find inspiration.

Think of someone whose life inspires you. Who might serve as your purposeful role model? Why? ______________________________________

Step 4: Think about your goals

Goals are important for many reasons. They help us stay motivated, keep us accountable, and give us a sense of direction.

What are some of your long-term goals (e.g. 5, 10, or 15 years from now)? Please list at least three. ______________________________________

Step 5: Start writing!

You can start writing freely! Combine the previous steps to create what you see as your “mission statement.”  It can be as specific or general as you want. 

If you feel stuck, here are two examples - the second one by the author and poet, Maya Angelou.

“To use my kindness and love of learning to educate youth and inspire them to become the best version of themselves”

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Use the provided worksheet in your Resilience Workbook to draft your mission statement. You can write and re-write it as many times as you need.

You can use your personal mission statement as a reminder of your purpose and motivation in your daily life.

If you’d like, write it down and keep it somewhere you will see it often—maybe on a sticky note at your desk, hanging on your fridge, or in the notes section of your phone.

You can also change it. Feel free to rewrite or add to it as you continue on your journey.