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Finding Purpose and Meaning During Challenging Times

Explore the science and art of purpose and practice essential tools for living a life of authenticity, connection, and impact.

Learning Objectives

By participating in this program, you will:

  • Understand the essential components of living a life of purpose in the midst of challenge
  • Define the core values that animate your life in order to investigate your purpose more deeply
  • Design a "life as purpose project" that integrates your unique values and strengths, activities that bring you joy, and the needs in the world that most move you

Program Description

Graduate school is a time of powerful academic, professional, and personal exploration. It's also the launching pad for the next phase of life. However, how many of us set aside time and energy to reflect with depth on our life purposes? Living on purpose, so to speak, doesn't occur accidentally. Instead, it necessitates intentional cultivation of mindsets and skills that amplify our lived experiences of authenticity, connection, and impact.
In this workshop you'll explore frameworks and practice tools that help increase a living sense of purpose in your life. Key activities will include unearthing your core values, examining your unique strengths, connecting authentically with peers around common life questions, and designing purpose projects to help you prototype a new way of living. This workshop is appropriate for graduate students of all disciplines and at any phase of your Stanford journey. Having said that, come prepared to learn experientially and step a little bit outside of your comfort zone in service of growth. Your depth of engagement will directly impact what you get out of this workshop. 

Workshops are lead by Aneel Chima, director of the Division of Health and Human Performance and the Stanford Flourishing Project.


If you are not able to commit to this multi-session workshop, check out the Wellness Network to find other campus resources to support your health and well-being.


Open to enrolled graduate students at any stage in any discipline or degree program. 

Space is limited. Due to the workshop's interactive format, full participation in all three sessions is required.

If you are accepted to this workshop you must confirm your place by submitting a Student Participation Fee Agreement, which authorizes VPGE to charge $50 to your Stanford bill – only if you do not fully participate in the event. You will receive a link to the Agreement and instructions if you are offered a place.

Time Commitment: 
Learning Experience: 

Registration Process

Three-session Workshop: Thursday, April 22; Monday, April 26; & Thursday, April 29, 2021, 4-6 PM

Application is closed.