Success Story

Our success story in Chapter 4 is Damian Hall:  You can find out more about Damian on:

His book: In it for the Long run



People or stories included

Ultra-runner John Kelly –

Eddie Brocklesby

Darell Hammond (founder of KaBOOM ) –

Studies discussed

The meta-analysis of 70 studies finding people who are most purposeful in life have above average health, feel some kind of competence or mastery, higher quality relationships, more likely to be married, working (even if eligible for retirement) and have higher socio-economic status:  Pinquart, M. (2002). Creating and maintaining purpose in life in old age: A meta-analysis. Ageing international27(2), 90-114.

The 2014 study looking at ‘what makes lawyers happy’: Krieger, L. S., & Sheldon, K. M. (2014). What makes lawyers happy: A data-driven prescription to redefine professional success. Geo. Wash. L. Rev.83, 554.

MRI studies of those with greater levels of purpose being better able to regulate their amygdala: Lutz, A., Brefczynski-Lewis, J., Johnstone, T., & Davidson, R. J. (2008). Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation: effects of meditative expertise. PloS one3(3), e1897.

The Japanese study of over forty-three thousand adults that found those who had a strong sense of purpose had lower levels of mortality: Koizumi, M., Ito, H., Kaneko, Y., & Motohashi, Y. (2008). Effect of having a sense of purpose in life on the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases. Journal of epidemiology, 0808270028-0808270028.

The study using the data from the Hawaii Longitudinal Study of Personality and Health suggesting those with purpose exercised more, ate more vegetables, flossed their teeth more often and slept better: Hill, P. L., Edmonds, G. W., & Hampson, S. E. (2019). A purposeful lifestyle is a healthful lifestyle: Linking sense of purpose to self-rated health through multiple health behaviors. Journal of health psychology24(10), 1392-1400.

Study using the the Rush Memory and Aging Project data on links between purpose and Alzheimer’s: Boyle, P. A., Buchman, A. S., & Bennett, D. A. (2010). Purpose in life is associated with a reduced risk of incident disability among community-dwelling older persons. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry18(12), 1093-1102.

The US study using eye-blink startle responses to see if purpose in life helped people with emotional recovery: Schaefer, S. M., Morozink Boylan, J., Van Reekum, C. M., Lapate, R. C., Norris, C. J., Ryff, C. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Purpose in life predicts better emotional recovery from negative stimuli. PloS one8(11), e80329.

The study following 416 undergraduates on their life goals: Hill, P. L., Burrow, A. L., Brandenberger, J. W., Lapsley, D. K., & Quaranto, J. C. (2010). Collegiate purpose orientations and well-being in early and middle adulthood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology31(2), 173-179.

The study on the motivations of black students in STEM: McGee, E. O., White, D. T., Jenkins, A. T., Houston, S., Bentley, L. C., Smith, W. J., & Robinson, W. H. (2016). Black engineering students’ motivation for PhD attainment: Passion plus purpose. Journal for Multicultural Education.

Life Crafting from the Rotterdam School of Management: Schippers, M. C., & Ziegler, N. (2019). Life crafting as a way to find purpose and meaning in life. Frontiers in Psychology, 2778.