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Gain Control of Your Ship and Set Sail Towards Happiness

For those of you reading this I am sure that you are asking yourselves, who is this person? Why should I listen to him?  Let me begin by introducing myself.  I am an average student, at an underrated university, with extraordinary ambitions.  The principles that I am about to speak about are necessary components to living a happy, well-rounded, and healthy life.  While still in its pioneering stage of being researched scientifically, I can tell you from personal experience that everything I will speak of is imperative towards achieving a good life full of happiness and success.

Make Your Own Luck

Recently, I have had the pleasure of listening to one of the most brilliant and inspirational speakers who represents the field of Public Health.  Dr. Victor Strecher has been a professor at the University of Michigan since 1995 and has been successful in leading over $45 million worth of grant-funded studies for the Center for Health Communications Research, an organization that he is responsible for founding.  Along with the help of the University of Michigan, Dr. Strecher also founded HealthMedia, Inc. in 1998 which was eventually purchased by Johnson & Johnson in 2008.  He is currently the Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, inspiring his students and faculty to join him on his journey to disseminate research for the sole purpose of improving the health of the public both nationally and globally.

Dr. Strecher gave his presentation titled Make Your Own Luck, How to Live a Purpose Driven Life in response to the recent release of his novel, Life on Purpose, How Living for what Matters most Changes Everything, which I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy.  Dr. Strecher does an extraordinary job at demonstrating the value of reaching a transcendent purpose in life and how he accomplished this through a combination of scientific research, philosophical teachings, and the personal triumphs and tragedies within his life that led to this conclusion.

The unfortunate mentality of the modern businessman is that they are individuals who are willing to sacrifice their full potential to be enslaved by the dollar rather than to identify their true passion and utilizing it in a way that serves the better good of society.  It is no surprise that many Americans often find themselves suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression as a result of idolizing minimalist pleasures over self-improvement that would foster life long, sustainable, happiness and well-being; all of which strong spirituality has been proven to counter.

According to Dr. Strecher, many public health researchers have identified the profound benefits of having a life guided by a strong spiritual purpose.  He explained various studies which involved the brain autopsies of individuals who identified strong spiritual purpose in their lives and concluded there were far less lesions in their brains compared to those who were extremely physically active or maintained exemplary diets.  In other studies, spiritual individuals had been shown to display increased confidence during high stress situations, less prone to anxiousness and had improved sexual activity.  What more could one want?  Dr. Strecher also demonstrated the benefits of meditation and spoke about how it has manifested amongst ancient cultures throughout history.  Today, military officials have even been taught to use meditation, in conjunction with identifying a strong life purpose, in order to help maintain composure within high stress situations as well as a way to help treat the side effects of PTSD.  Through the culmination of his research in spiritual psychology and the use of health behavior theory, Dr. Strecher wanted to use creative innovation to help individuals, nationally, discover their true purpose in life.  His efforts gave way to a new social media platform known as JOOL Health, which does exactly that.

JOOL is the first and only mobile health solution aimed at helping individuals discover their life purpose, monitor how well they live by it, and develop the energy and willpower needed to pursue it.  Using key health behaviors such as sleep, presence, activity, creativity, and eating, JOOL works as a virtual health coach promoting self-knowledge and positive insight-driven change within an interactive context aimed towards achieving a unique personal perspective and sense of control over the determinants that drive their daily health behaviors.  I believe this marks a groundbreaking milestone for the direction of public health as a whole.  For so long, health has been treated as the measures necessary to maintain the absence of disease, where now we are discovering a wide range of areas within our lives that influence our health.  The habits we engage in remain the root cause for most health disparities faced globally.

I am totally confident that if we, as public health professionals, can effectively communicate the importance of reaching a transcendent purpose in life across populations, it will foster ground breaking results in creating a healthier future.  Just imagine a world where failure is viewed as an opportunity for self-improvement, and the only battles one must face are the ones that exist within themselves.


Written by GUADS guest writer Joe.

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