Nonfiction Short Take: Life on Purpose – Victor J. Strecher

This short book intertwines personal narrative with scientific research on how finding purpose in life is directly related to improved health and happiness. It’s both useful and rewarding reading.

To get a sense of the approach, you can watch Strecher, a professor of at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, present a very entertaining overview of his work at a TEDx talk. (As a side note, the visuals in this talk are from a graphic novel version he did of this story titled On Purpose. It’s pretty cool.)

“Victor Strecher has written what I would best describe as a ‘gift.’ For too many of us, resilience and growth are fueled by tragedy and loss. Victor, set on a relentless pursuit of clarity during the illness and loss of his daughter Julia, teaches us about what a life on purpose is all about, and how it differs from simply finding meaning. He also gifts us the ability to define our purpose and immediately start instilling into our own lives. Make no mistake, understanding this concept is not only good for your health — it is good for the whole world. And, there is an added benefit: it will take your life and completely transform it from black and white to Technicolor.”
— Sanjay Gupta, New York Times bestselling author and Chief Medical Correspondent CNN

“Triggered by a tragic personal loss that left him feeling bereft, Strecher decided to examine the role and importance of purpose with the hope of regaining his own along the way. And while the book presents an interesting overview of the topic, it is Strecher’s personal journey to rekindle his own purpose that I found most engaging, relatable and instructive. Strecher joins others who believe a life lived with purpose and self-transcending goals is a healthier, happier, more satisfying one.”
— Sharon Gambin, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything (9780062409607) by Victor J. Strecher. $25.99 hardcover. 5/10/16 on sale.

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