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How Do We Find a Sense of Purpose?

At one point in my career, I was given the task of coming up with an engagement and education program for participants in a short-term recovery-to-work program. Participants were not ready to get jobs, they were being prepared to get jobs.


The preparation was highly structured and focused on mastery of basic living skills. What was lacking was giving participants a reason for being. Just as we have found that elders deteriorate more rapidly without motivation, something to inspire them before, during or after retirement, so this sense of purpose can be applied to former addicts.


Chip Conley (wisdomwell@moderneldersacademy.com) rephrases retirement at "rewirement," doing something that maybe you didn't have a chance to explore in your earlier work life. He quotes Ross Angel, a TEDx speaker, who says, “Purpose is about investing yourself into something that has meaning.. it doesn’t have to have meaning to others, just to you."


The question is "How does a person find a sense of purpose, become motivated, become passionate about something?" For those who are without motivation, I envision mounting a Fibonacci painting or continuous video loop, in a public area of the community, where both visitors and community members can reflect upon the meaning of life at some point/s during each day. The painting means different things to different viewers.


Fibonacci was a Middle Ages mathematician, but the numerical sequence of numbers named after him appeared as early as 450 BC. This formula has been applied in the arts, computer science, nature, optics, movement, on and on.... It has been applied to all aspects of a person.


What if we considered motivation as essential to living? What if we inbued motivation into every basic living skill (i.e., dressing, eating, personal care, ...)? What if paid and unpaid caregivers, as well as care receivers (rephrase both terms to "care partners") recovered addicts, as well as elders, were motivated in all aspects of their/our work/lives?


Appealing to the multisenses, such as a Fibonacci painting, or a musical "Earworm" (discussed in my previous MAP blog posts) can stimulate this sense of purpose. Developing a structure, a routine to our daily life, in which every activity is imbued with the multisenses, can give individuals, of all ages, stages, and abilities, a sense of purpose, the motivation to live/work and to share with others.


What is your multisensory routine?









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