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In early April, we graduated a class from Jesse’s House, a group foster home for teenaged girls. You might remember we shared some of their stories in our last blog, including record-setting marshmallows! I recently had a wrap up conversation with Elizabeth Johnson, their program director. We met to talk about how the program went and to debrief on results. I am happy to report that it was a true success. Elizabeth was kind enough to share her thoughts, a couple of stories and the impact. Some of the pre- and post-program survey numbers blew us away. For example, life satisfaction increased 92%! Wow. Thanks again to Jesse’s House, a kind and loving organization ...
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Established in 1977, Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) is the largest nonprofit domestic violence organization in Georgia. Their 43 employees take an education-based approach to inform the public of the dynamics of intimate partner violence, promote healthy dating relationships, and offer safety and shelter to victims and their children as they begin the road to recovery. We had the pleasure to sit down with Nancy Friauf, the current CEO of PADV , to learn more about this amazing nonprofit and chat about purpose. Nancy, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Thanks for telling us more about the amazing work that PADV does. Our mission ...
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We have had a busy month at Discovering My Purpose. From new board members to new graduates to new teachers, we have a lot to share. We also have quite a few stories about the foster girls, which helps give a picture of what classes are like and how our program is making a difference. I will have you know that one of these fun stories includes a record-setting marshmallow! Thanks for sharing this update with others who might be interested. We appreciate you helping spread the word. DMP Welcomes New Board Members We are pleased to introduce our new board members. They are an amazing and diverse group of people. (listed below in alphabetical order) ...
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Rewiring Our Brains for Success

Henry Ford, a revolutionary in the automobile industry, said, “Whether we think we can or think we can’t, we’re right .” What does that mean?  The more we think a certain thought, the more we wire our brain to adopt that thought as reality. In this week’s blog, we are going to dive into the science behind our habitual thoughts, other functions of the amazing human brain, and how it all relates back to purpose. Our Plastic Brains You know that saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"?  It's not true.  Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to change how it is wired and we retain this ability until the day we die.  That definition might not sound ...
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When you hear the word “superpower” what comes to mind? The ability to fly, be invisible, or have incredible strength? (Flying would be the one I would choose!) Here’s the awesome news. In this blog and the next one, we have two superpowers to share with you. And they are totally within your reach. This week’s blog is all about growth mindset . (By the way, it is totally possible to change your mindset!) Next week, we will dig into neuroplasticity – how it is possible to change how our brains are wired. Growth mindset will help you fight negativity in your life, supersize your confidence and most importantly, help you pursue your path to purpose. We’ll ...
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Purpose comes in many shapes and sizes. As we have discussed in other blogs , there are no limitations on what form purpose takes or how you may find it. There is something that can be broadly said about purpose. When we have a sense of purpose, that means that we have a big strategic advantage.  I like to think of this as our purpose flow chart, which has two key drivers – intrinsic motivation and persistence.  Here’s how it works: We discover what our purpose is.  Remember that your purpose lives in the overlap of three things – what you are good at, what you love to do, and what the world needs.  (Need help figuring out these three areas?  ...
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“Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” These brilliant words are from William Shakespeare, reminding us that adversity leaves behind a silver lining. If you can learn to put a positive spin on life’s curveballs, the self-growth that stems from tragedy might just lead you down the path to purpose. If you are like most people, you are probably familiar with the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder. But there is a possibility that you have never heard of post-traumatic growth . The term was coined by psychologists Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun at the ...
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Here's what we have been up to at Discovering My Purpose lately. We have a lot to share. Read more to hear stories about the youth and moms we are serving – how we are helping them get to know their Elephants, boosting their life satisfaction, coaching them to see their strengths and settling down their inflamed systems. Teacher Training On Wednesday we started up our new round of teacher training ! It's so fun to share the program with others, knowing that they will be going out to teach it to more kids. In our cohort of teachers are counselors from Wildwood Hills Ranch , a nonprofit organization who works with at-risk and foster youth. ...
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Where to Find Purpose

The Many Roads to Purpose Isn’t is amazing how many “shoulds” we layer on ourselves?  We should look like this, eat this and not that, live this kind of life, exercise in this way… the list goes on and on. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?  And we layer more “shoulds” onto our purpose than practically anything else. The Top 5 Myths of Purpose digs into a lot of this limiting self-talk. These “shoulds” can leave us feeling stuck. Or lost. Or confused. Or tired. At Discovering My Purpose, we are here to say, “Wait just a second.” There are so many roads to purpose. And I will tell you the secret truth right up front. Each one is just as good as the next. ...
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Choosing Joy I have been learning a little about Marie Kondo, the celebrity who is helping people clean up their living spaces.  On her web site, it says, "Our goal is to help more people tidy their spaces by choosing joy."  The KonMari approach is to look at each item you own and ask yourself if it sparks joy in you.  If it does, you keep it.  If it doesn't, you let it go.  I was thinking, could we extend this kind of thinking into looking at how we choose to spend our time?  Rather than filling up our days, isn't it better to fill up our lives?  Psychologists have worked to define what happiness is made up of.  Their answer?  Two things.  Pleasure ...
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The Monkey on My Back  Ok, I admit it.  One of the things that used to keep me up at night was the fear of being this guy.  Being in my hospital bed at the end of my life with no hair (ok, maybe not so worried about the hair) and finally figuring out what I was here on earth to do.  I think of this as the ultimate fear of missing out.   Living your whole life, knowing that you have something awesome to contribute to the world and being worried you will never, ever find it.  Let’s call that the monkey on my back.  I would say we should name him, but he was such a pest that I am not sure he deserves a name.  Unless it was the most stupid name in ...
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Do you have a sense of what purpose is made up of?  Lucky for us, a lot of psychologists and social researchers have asked themselves this same question.  Through their research and experiments, they have concluded that purpose has four main components. Main Components of Purpose One) There is a long-term element. It doesn’t change day by day. Two) It’s tied to goals that you work toward. Three) It means a lot to you. You love working on it, whatever it may be. And four) It makes the world a better place. Let's talk about these four things in a bit more detail. First: It's Your True North Purpose is something that propels and motivates ...
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Youth in Need of Purpose

The need for purpose lasts our entire lives.  It is one of the foundational elements required for human beings to thrive and lead meaningful lives. Studies have found that purpose helps us be happier and also live longer lives.  In fact, areas with the highest levels of centenarians, The Blue Zones, have found that these 100+ year old people are more likely to have a strong sense of purpose. Discovering My Purpose has a process that works for people of all ages and backgrounds.  Everyone is welcome to participate and can benefit from the self-exploration exercises listed in this site.  Our youth are in a place of dramatic need. For this reason, this article ...
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Anxiety in our world is on the rise. According to Ro bert Leahy, Ph.D., a clinical professor of psychology at Weill-Cornell University Medical School, the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s. Decade by decade, anxiety is increasing. Youth are particularly vulnerable here. The rise in anxiety stems from a variety of sources, but a key two serve as a double whammy. These days youth have less real relationships and more online connections. Both of these fuel unhappiness. Positive, strong relationships have been proven to be one of the greatest predictors of happiness. It’s ironic, ...
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Who we are determines what our purpose in life is.  Right?  Not necessarily.  It can just as easily work the other way – our purpose can define our identity.   Making Life Matter : Advice from the Founder of Positive Psychology In the summer of 2018, I had an opportunity to attend the International Positive Education Network’s conference.  While there, I met Professor Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology.  (Sharing the picture here.  Yes, I am a Marty Groupie!) We talked about Discovering My Purpose and he had a few words of advice for me. (To say that I was blown away is an understatement!)  Professor Seligman talked about how our ...
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Intern Introduction

Hello! Hello! This is Jamie Dickstein signing on as the newest addition to the Discovering My Purpose Staff! I could not be more excited to join the team as an intern for the 2018-19 year! I want to start this entry off further by introducing myself. As previously stated, my name is Jamie and I am seventeen years old. I am a rising senior at Chattahoochee High School and am very active in various leadership and community service organizations. I love to laugh so if you got a good joke, please come and find me! I am a big believer that each and every person has a passion in life.  However, many people, teens especially, don’t make the effort ...
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As a young child, Emily suffered from severe anxiety. As a result of this, she never ventured out of her comfort zone. In elementary school she found a safe haven in a very unexpected place. A woman from her church always told Emily that when she was having panic attacks Emily could go to her classroom. This woman taught special education. After time Emily began to enjoy going to her class. The teacher would let Emily assist her students. Over time, Emily started choosing to go help her instead of going to recess. Over the coming years, Emily continued to grow her connection to the special needs community.  By junior year of high school, Emily was babysitting ...
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When Sydney Martin was 10 years old she was diagnosed with Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis.  LCH is a type of blood cancer that affects roughly 1 in 200,000 children per year who are under the age of 10.  Sydney soon started chemotherapy to help ease her symptoms.  She was scared and the treatments made her feel awful. Before she got sick, Sydney had been making necklaces out of the rocks she found on the beaches of Lake Michigan.  When she realized how little LCH research was being done, Syd decided to sell these necklaces to raise money.  The proceeds of sales for her necklaces and other merchandise go to finding better treatments and a cure. What ...
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