Meaning & Purpose Well-Being Definition

Posted on January 5, 2016 by Kay Roberts, MA

Updated March 19, 2024

2023 - Wheel of Well-Being GraphicThe VITAL WorkLife Wheel of Well-Being is a tool used to evaluate distinct areas of life and build overall well-being through improving each dimension of well-being. Your overall well-being is made of multiple dimensions. Meaning & Purpose Well-Being is one dimension contributing to your holistic health; you cannot achieve overall well-being without having balance in each of the dimensions.

Meaning & Purpose Well-Being

At VITAL WorkLife, we define Meaning and Purpose Well-Being as:

“Exploration and understanding of values, beliefs and their influence on our motivations, efforts and sense of connection to the larger community.”

Meaning and Purpose Well-Being InfographicBut How Can You Achieve and Maintain Meaning & Purpose?

There is no ‘right’ way to nurture your sense of Meaning and Purpose. What is essential for your well-being is the tending of your values and beliefs. Much like a gardener who waters, feeds and weeds in order to have a healthy harvest, you tend to your Meaning and Purpose by first choosing to enter this journey. You can become a seeker of wisdom, nourishing yourself when you make space for the intentional nurturing of a stronger foundation of your spirit. You journey by paying attention and listening carefully to get in touch with the longing of your human spirit. Strive to live peaceably and justly with other human beings. Begin by taking many steps on this pathway to well being. With each step, you will soon understand the potential for a deeper connection to a richer and more brilliant inner life.

What Contributes to Meaning & Purpose?

Many factors contribute to Meaning and Purpose, including adequate sleep and healthy eating, mindfulness, meditation, prayer or taking time to be silent to focus on inner exploration.

Case Study

Dr. Joe is an accomplished physician. His years of service have been peppered with accolades, consistent advancement in his chosen field and the respect of his peers. Dr. Joe’s financial situation is extremely comfortable and he has no pending malpractice suits or any other litigation. Dr. Joe is consistent in his efforts to exercise at least three times a week and he makes healthy meal choices, does not use tobacco or drugs, and his alcohol intake does not exceed five glasses of wine in any week.

From the outside Dr. Joe has an ideal life situation. What is not readily visible to others is Dr. Joe’s marriage has been strained for over a year now. In addition, Dr. Joe, although clearly accomplished in his career, is feeling a loss of joy in his professional life in a way he is unable to identify. His rational mind says it doesn’t make sense. How can he be feeling unfulfilled with a sense of emptiness he has never experienced?

Meaning & Purpose is a Lifelong Process

In the busyness of life, you may lose sight of the fact meaningful living is not an after work or week-end obligation. Rather your meaning and purpose becomes the very fabric of daily living and becomes the preferred way of being in the world. Even during good times, your sense of purpose in life can suddenly express itself in the form of discomfort or dissatisfaction. Your foundation of meaning and purpose can help you return to a deep inner peace and calm while determining the source of the potential new frustration.

With a strong meaning and purpose foundation, you can focus on what is truly essential. This strong foundation can support you in creating a new vision to see what opportunities are ahead, rather than hanging on to your fears and anxieties about change and what the future may hold. However you choose to nurture your spirit, this investment will ensure you have a consistent source of hope, strength, comfort, meaning and peace. You will want to continue to ‘tend this inner garden’ to ensure an ongoing, strong foundation.

To learn more about your Meaning & Purpose dimension, you can read from our recommended reading list.

We Can Help.

VITAL WorkLife supports all dimensions of your Wheel of Well-Being. Call us anytime, day or night, for support of your Meaning & Purpose Well-Being.

  • EAP members call 800.383.1908 or access resources through your VITAL WorkLife App
  • Physician Well-Being Resources members call 877.731.3949 or access resources through your VITAL WorkLife App

Check out our video below to learn more about the Wheel of Well-Being:

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