Overview Meaning is a Double-edged Sword Dysfunctional Beliefs Objective vs. Subjective Criteria of Meaningful Living The Personal Meaning Profile (PMP) Viktor Frankl’s Three Enduring Values The PURE Model of Meaningful Living
Meaning is a double-edged sword. There are positive and negative sides to almost every human activity. Having a strong sense of meaning is not always good. A dysfunctional meaning system can do much harm to individuals and society. A functional meaning system is our best ally.
Dysfunctional Beliefs Extremism – radical beliefs Negativism – holding a negative view towards people and life Defeatism – “I can’t do it,” “I don’t have a chance” Egotism – “what can I get out of the situation?”
Subjective Criteria of Meaning Meaning is whatever you mean. Meaning is whatever works for you. Meaning is whatever makes you feel good. Meaning is doing whatever you love. Meaning is doing whatever you do best. (Subjective criteria can get us into trouble, when there is a lack of moral concerns.)
Objective Criteria of Meaning Rational – Does it make sense? Empirical – Is it supported by research? Ethical – Is there any ethical violation? Values – Is it consistent with enduring values, such as goodness, truth, and beauty? Responsibility – Is it a responsible action with respect to your loved ones, humanity & ecology?
Objective Sources of Meaning (Wong, 1998) Achievement – Striving and attaining worthy life goals Relationship – Relating well to others and community Intimacy – Having family and close friends Acceptance – Being at peace with oneself Religion – Have a personal relationship with God Self-transcendence – Losing oneself in serving others Fairness/justice – Being treated fairly
Enjoyment/Evaluation An appreciative attitude The natural outcome of leading a purposeful & responsible life A sense of well-being, serenity, & contentment Feel good for doing good Involves reflection and re-evaluation of PURE
Meaning That Makes Life Better 1.Affirming the intrinsic meaning & value of life 2.Being mindful of the meaning potential of the present moment 3.Maintaining good relationships 4.Doing something creative, productive, & helpful 5.Pursuing one’s calling and dreams