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Discovering the Meaning in Life

April 26, 2017

Scientists have found an important factor that links people who are healthier, happier, more satisfied and successful at work, and even live longer—and we’re not talking about diet, exercise, or sleep. So why don’t more people know about the importance of purpose?

That’s something ProSocial is working to help change on behalf of the John Templeton Foundation, which funds research that explores contributors to human flourishing. A sense of purpose in life includes a combination of goal-directedness, commitment, personal meaningfulness, and a vision beyond oneself, and there are ways to cultivate it, according to Kendall Cotton Bronk, an associate professor of psychology in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Claremont Graduate University.

The Purpose Challenge campaign, launching later this year, will focus on promoting purpose among high school seniors. Working in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, we’ve brought together experts such as Bronk, who studies purpose and youth development, Ethan Sawyer, better known as the College Essay Guy, and others.

We’ve also tapped the genius marketing minds behind the Red Bull brand. Creative agency Kastner & Partners will develop video content and surrounding messaging for The Purpose Challenge. From extreme sports and stunts that reinforce the message that “Red Bull gives you wings” (e.g. their YouTube video, livestreamed by more than 8 million viewers, featuring Felix Baumgartner freefalling from outer space to earth for 24 miles at more than 800 miles per hour) to the “Like A Girl” campaign, developed for Always, that powerfully called attention to society’s role in the precipitous drop in self-confidence girls experience during puberty, K&P will bring break-the-mold thinking to this important philanthropic initiative. 

So we are excited, for sure, to see what our collaboration generates to inspire young people to rise to the challenge and explore their purpose. We’ll share that with you in a few months!