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Fostering mature purpose beyond the classroom: Considering family and other institutions in agentic purpose commitment

Publication Authors: 
Reilly, Timothy Scott & Mariano, Jennifer Menon
Publication Year: 
2021 September 15 online
Publication Journal: 
Seçäo Temática | Projetos de Vida.

This article addresses two questions about purpose in life: what is mature purpose, and how can it be cultivated? We first outline a picture of mature purpose based in part on established purpose research, and point out new frameworks that can resolve missing pieces and tensions in the current paradigms. We contend that above and beyond fulfilling discrete criteria present in operational definitions, mature purpose requires agentic yet flexible commitment to worthy goals rather than simplistic adoption of expected goals. A review of purpose formation beyond the classroom identifies similar roles of parents, post-secondary educational institutions, and extracurricular activities for supporting development of mature purpose in the direction of agentic commitment, namely, encouraging processes of: active exploration, tentative commitment, and support in navigating and sustaining meaningful commitment..

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