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The Purpose and Health Issue

November 25, 2014 | 1:00 PM Eastern


Paul Terry


Hosted by Paul E. Terry, PhD

Editor, The Art of Health Promotion

Chief Science Officer, StayWell







Webinar Panelists

In the November/December 2014 issue of The Art of Health Promotion, we delve into the relationships between life purpose, health, and motivation. This webinar will feature Dr. Victor Strecher and Dr. Jinnet Fowles who were interviewed for the article and who each bring a personal and unique perspective on the topic. The panel will also include Ms. Sarah Susanka, whose book "The Not So Big Life" was instrumental for Dr. Fowles’ explorations and discovery of her new purpose.
Most long-time professionals in the field of health promotion are familiar with Dr. Strecher’s extraordinary research and product development in “tailored messaging.”  In this webinar you will learn why Vic is now focused on altogether new messaging about changing your life on purpose.  We will explore Vic’s argument that “changing health behaviors in order to give yourself more energy and self-control toward your purpose is a much stronger approach than changing behaviors to avoid medical conditions or death.”  For Vic, succeeding at significant change means “creating a self-transcending purpose” and, per writer Rachel Remen, “seeing ‘familiar things in new ways’ by involving your family, friends, or community.”
We explored just such a transformational story by describing the methodical process Jinnet Fowles used to make a career change from an accomplished health services researcher to a professional organizer and Principal of Less is More Works.  Guiding Fowles’s reflections and decision making was Sarah Susanka. Since Fowles was living in the Kingdom of Tonga as a Peace Corps volunteer at the time she was looking for guidance, Susanka’s wisdom was delivered via her book: “The Not So Big Life” which Fowles read and re-read including completing each and every exercise the book recommended.
Many already may know Susanka for her groundbreaking book “The Not So Big House” which compelled U.S. News and World Report to name her an “innovator in American culture,” Newsweek to select her as a “top newsmaker” and Fast Company to list her as one of their “Fast 50” whose achievements have helped to change society.  Like Fowles, Susanka enjoyed a highly successful career but she too felt another calling.  So, according to Susanka, she simply gave herself “permission to explore beyond the normal boundaries of my particular career path, and to pursue the aspects of my own nature that weren’t being lived but that yearned for liberation.”
When I interviewed Fowles about why she so relished Susanka’s book exercises she said: “While I definitely wanted to develop some ideas of what I would do next, it was in the context of who I wanted to be.”  It comes as no coincidence, then, how similarly Susanka, writing on her web site describes her career as an architect, and her added career as an author.  She also muses that those jobs “are the content of my life, but the process (that she outlines in her books) is what has allowed me to become more and more of the potential I know myself to be.”
We have hosted many preeminent health promotion thought leaders in our “The Art of Health Promotion” webinars but I don’t recall any that have me more captivated by where this discussion could lead us.  I can’t wait to see what kinds of questions you conjure up for this fascinating trio.

January Issue Sneak Peek

December 23, 2014 1:00 PM Eastern

Registration coming soon

Hosted by Michael P. O'Donnell, PhD, MPH, MBA

Editor in Chief, American Journal of Health Promotion


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