August 26—October 18, 2019 with live webinars each Thursday from 12-1:30 ET
Registration is now open!
What’s the meaning and purpose in your life? It’s a big question—one that can cause pain and angst if you are trying to find the “right” answer.
Understanding your meaning and purpose in life is like a mystery—there are many possibilities, and an authentic understanding takes time. Journalist Malcolm Gladwell wrote, “Mysteries require judgments and the assessment of uncertainty, and the hard part is not that we have too little information but that we have too much.” This is true, too, of our quest for meaning in life.
Do we simply need more information, or do we need help figuring out how to assemble the knowledge we already have? Learning to engage with life in a way that enables meaning to flourish means being able to look at our lives in new and evolving ways. This course invites you on a journey of wonder. Yes, knowledge is power, but we also need to live with our eyes and hearts open to the unexpected. We need to appreciate that uncertainty will always be with us, and that uncertainty can actually lead us to see new ways of assembling what we know about life.
Join me in an eight-week exploration of meaning in your life—including how to see and build meaning; locating meaning in your past, present, and future; and the connection of meaning and goals.
❖ Week 1: The Big Why
The course begins with a brief look at human history through the lens of meaning, touching on sources of meaning, your senses and meaning, and the idea that meaning doesn’t have to be complicated.
❖ Week 2: It Begins with Me
Meaning starts with you. Knowing who you are is the foundation. Topics in this session include authenticity, self-understanding, strengths, and values.
❖ Week 3: Uncovering the Source
Meaning is not elusive; it is pervasive. But it can be easily missed. In this session, you’ll learn how to use the right lens to help you see the sources of meaning, even in the mundane. By looking at your day in this way, you can keep the meaning momentum building from week to week.
❖ Week 4: Time—Forward and Backwards
The way you look at time matters to meaning. In this session, you’ll explore nostalgia for the past and anticipation of the future, and discover how to use this “time travel” to expand meaning in your life.
❖ Week 5: Your Story
This week, you’ll explore the power of owning your own story. You can look at your life as a journey—finding universal themes, seeing the people we meet as the heroes and heroines that we travel alongside, and living our aspiration. You’ll not only write your story, but also observe the narrative as you live it day by day.
❖ Week 6: Good Goals
Choosing, planning, and pursuing what we want to accomplish is central to finding purpose and meaning. This week, we’ll explore the essential connection between meaning and goals.
❖ Week 7: Helping Others See and Develop Meaning
It is better to give than to receive, and this may be true for meaning, too. You will learn to build your language for talking about and valuing meaning, and to share the tools you’ve created in this course, so you can help others on their own meaning journeys.
❖ Week 8: Growing Wider and Deeper
Meaning is meant to grow with us, to embrace others and the world around us. As spiritual beings, we are always drawn toward growth and self-transcendence. We’ll conclude by turning our eyes toward the future as we continue to pursue meaning, purpose, and wonder.
Wholebeing Institute uses state-of-the-art, user-friendly webinar technology that allows you to see the faculty via video, watch the slides during the presentation, and participate during the live events, through your computer or your mobile device. Presentation materials will be available in advance, and recordings will be posted following each session for students who are unable to join live or would like to review the material again.
Online engagement is also fostered in the discussion forum, where students and faculty connect for questions and conversations about the course material.
Need help navigating the online educational experience? Our Student Support Manager and technology team are here to assist you.
Schedule and Time Commitment
Live classes will be held Thursdays from 12:00–1:30 pm ET, beginning Thursday, August 29. The course includes eight live webinars, with recordings available for those unable to join live. Each week’s webinar will conclude with evidence-based practical applications that can be adapted for use in a wide range of settings.
In addition to webinars and reflection, you will also have one or two articles or videos to read or view each week.
You will also read at least the first half of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.
To bring the experience together, you’ll create an artifact that communicates your history, where you are now, and where you hope your journey of meaning, purpose, and wonder will take you.