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Leading a life of Purpose

Thirsty Tree Nation is all about drinking up what life has to offer. Keep reading to learn some tips for a well-balanced and more fulfilling life.

Dr. Seligman who was President of the American Psychological Association in 1998 built the field of positive psychology. He studied what helped people flourish and founded the PERMA theory. Each letter in the theory stands for something: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. It was descriptive not prescriptive. He simply looked at the factors that help people flourish.

Positive Emotion: increasing positive emotion can be done by looking at how you view the past, present, and future. Positive emotion about the past with gratitude and forgiveness. Positive emotions about the present with physical pleasures and mindfulness. Positive emotion about the future building hope and optimism.

Engagement: Use your skills, strength, and attention for a challenging task. Activity is its own reward. Flow is experienced when one’s skills are sufficient for a challenging activity in the pursuit of a clear goal with immediate feedback on progress toward the goal. Concentration is fully absorbed into getting the task done. Self-awareness disappears, perception of time is distorted. Some examples include, a good conversation, a work task, playing an instrument, reading a book, writing, building furniture, gardening, and sports training.

Relationships: Relationships are fundamental to well-being. They are experiences that contribute to well-being being amplified through relationships. Joy, laughter, and a feeling of belonging are important. Pride in accomplishment comes from relationships too. Connections to others give life purpose and meaning, Support from others is one of the best antidotes to the sad things that happen in life. Research shows that doing acts of kindness for others produces an increase in well-being because the drive to connect and serve others promotes our survival which is central to adaptation and is enabled by our capacity to love, show compassion, kindness, empathy, teamwork, cooperation, and self-sacrifice.

Meaning: Purpose from belonging and serving something bigger than yourself. Some examples include religion, family, politics, science, work organizations, justice, and community social causes.

Accomplishments: People pursue achievement, competency, success, and mastery for its own sake. Some examples include in the workplace, sports, games, and hobbies. Accomplishments are pursued for their own sake, not as a means to an end. They are defined and measured independently of the other elements.

Key Takeaways:

Feel grateful. Find some hope.

Find an activity that gives you so much joy that you loose track of time. Engage with people that want to see you succeed and will be there for you in times of need. Belong to sometime bigger than yourself. Being part of an organization give you a sense of purpose. Set a goal and accomplish it. We totally believe in you and we want to see you do well. That is what Thirsty Tree is all about.

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