Understanding purpose through interviews

Authors: 
Timothy S. Reilly and William Damon
Publication Year: 
2012
Publication name or Publisher: 
In J. Froh and A. Parks (Eds.), Activities for Teaching Positive Psychology: A Guide for Instructors (pp 45-52). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

The goal of this activity is to bring to life the concept of purpose by illustrating the role that purpose plays in students’ own lives. Students are asked to interview each other and then work together to draw a mind map—a diagram that shows the interrelations between the interviewee’s values, goals, and actions. The process of creating a mind map illustrates to students an important way of conceptualizing purpose, and also provides a foundation for integrating one’s purpose into other goals and activities.