Official Press Release

Research Identifies the Main Drivers of Humans’ Sense of Purpose

New Book from Nathanael Garrett Novosel Dispels Common Myths About How People Find Meaning and Fulfillment

January 1, 2020

Annapolis, MD – For years, researchers have debated the main drivers of humans finding meaning and purpose in their existence. The most recent trend in psychology has been studying what makes people happy, a field known as positive psychology. However, an analysis of hundreds of studies suggests that happiness is an indicator of success, not necessarily the ultimate goal in life. Instead, people who pursue growth opportunities will feel greater long-term fulfillment than their pleasure-seeking counterparts.

“There are a number of fallacies regarding meaning,” says Nathanael Garrett Novosel, Author of the new philosophy/psychology book, The Meaning of Life. “One fallacy is that happiness is point of life. Another is that the most fulfilled people dedicate their lives to serving others at great personal sacrifice. People do find meaning in helping others and contributing to a greater cause. However, excessive self-sacrifice often has the opposite effect of fostering resentment because the growth in those examples becomes a zero-sum game. An environment where everyone is growing and helping each other grow is much more conducive to long-term fulfillment.”

The new book identifies eight core concepts that people must master to derive more meaning in their lives and details significant findings regarding each one:

  • Growth: Seeking growth is the key to finding purpose; love, service, and learning are widely cited sources of meaning, but none of them are as universally applicable as growth.

  • Experience: Being successful is mostly the process of acquiring growth-enabling experience, not the acquisition of an end result, such as wealth or social status.

  • Desire: Desire drives humans toward the relevant growth-enabling experiences; it is not necessarily something that needs to be suppressed like many philosophies will encourage.

  • Belief: Despite how important skepticism is to scientific research, a person’s belief in their ability to attain an outcome is essential to sustaining his or her effort to grow.

  • Emotions: Emotions are an indicator of whether you are growing, not the point of living.

  • Ethics: People who achieve their successes ethically feel much more fulfilled than those who cheat to attain an outcome.

  • Support: Helping others is the key to finding greater meaning beyond oneself.

  • Choice: People who exercise their autonomy and assume responsibility for themselves and others have a much greater sense of purpose than people who do not.

The Meaning of Life: A guide to finding your life’s purpose launched today and is on sale now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books among other online and brick-and-mortar book retailers.


About Nathanael Garrett Novosel

Nathanael Garrett Novosel is a professional researcher and advisor with over 20 years of experience studying individual and group behavior. Over that time, he has researched psychology, evolutionary biology, organizational best practices, leadership decision making, business, technology, finance, and philosophy to understand how humans can improve their personal effectiveness.

Nathanael spent much of his career using the insights from this research to help the world’s leading executives solve their most pressing organizational challenges. Upon identifying that several common drivers of success applied to all areas of life, he decided to publish a book to advise people on how they could get a greater sense of meaning in their lives.

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