The Path to Purpose with William Damon

by Scott Barry Kaufman, May 10, 2018

Today it’s an honor to have Dr. William Damon on the podcast. Dr. Damon is Director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence and Professor of Education at Stanford University. Damon’s current research explores how young people develop purpose in their civic, work, family, and community relationships. He examines how people learn to approach their vocational and civic lives with a focus on purpose, imagination, and high standards of excellence. Damon also has written widely about how to educate for moral and ethical understanding. Dr. Damon’s most recent books include The Power of Ideals, Failing Liberty 101, and The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life.

In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover the following topics:

    • The definition of purpose
    • The role of values in purpose
    • The difference between purpose and meaning
    • Vicktor Frankl’s “will to meaning”
    • How purpose is a late developing capacity
    • The difference between purpose and resiliency
    • The paths to purpose among young people
    • Methods for developing purpose
    • Moral commitment among moral exemplars
    • Purpose among leaders
    • The importance of taking “ultimate responsibility” in life
    • How we are leaving young people unprepared in a civic society


One Response to “The Path to Purpose with William Damon”

  1. Mariana says:

    Hi! I was really inspired by this episode! Thanks. Would you share the references for the scales that can be used to measure/evaluate purpose?

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