A Meaningful IPPA World Congress
I think it fair to say that one of this World Congress on Positive Psychology’s most engaging (and popular) speakers was the fabulous Michael Steger from the Centre for Meaning and Purpose at the University of Colorado. He is a global researcher and thought leader on Meaning – what makes life meaningful for us.
For me, living a meaningful life is not just important, it is innate, compulsive, it’s intrinsic – in other words, I couldn’t function any other way. In reflecting on today and this conference, I couldn’t help but think that what has been THE most meaningful part for me has been sharing this Congress. With the positive psychology tribe – practitioners, researchers, and others. Meeting and connecting with amazing new people from all over the world – I had terrific discussions with people from NZ, China, US, Canada, UK, Germany, Iceland.
Importantly, however, was the joy of sharing this with my teammates from Xplore for Success – Diana Ryall, Amanda Webb, Claudia Cannone, Nicole McAuliffe, Andi Pert, Mim Bartlett, Linda Murray. My fellow MAPP alumni and what we fondly call “MAPPsters” (those studying or having graduated from a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology) from courses all over the world.
Finally, it touched me the most to share a session yesterday with my fourteen-year-old daughter, and today to have my husband David come with me to this session on meaning. For David, this was a pure act of love – the idea of a conference like this is wayyyyy out of his comfort zone (and general areas of interest), BUT he came, he loved hearing Mike, and we had (pardon the pun), meaningful, shared experience together, (and a great lunch after!).
Mike Steger’s closing point was around the idea that although we may all just small, insignificant ‘blips’ in the universe, but we are not alone – we do not have to do this on our own. In fact, it’s better – for all of us to lead thriving lives – if we don’t do it alone.
The summary slide in the photograph shows Basic Tools for Meaning (grounded in years of research by many and synthesised into this representation by Dr Steger), shows the eight different tools that help us create meaning in our lives, it’s deliberately a cycle).