Kendall Cotton Bronk, Ph.D.: The Power of Purpose to Enhance Well-being | Doing Well #53

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Kendall Cotton Bronk, a distinguished developmental psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University

With endless distractions and competing demands, it is easy to become disconnected from your true self and what truly matters. Discover the keys to a fulfilling life and explore the profound impact that having a sense of purpose can have on overall well-being.

Meet Kendall Cotton Bronk

Kendall Cotton Bronk, Ph.D., leads the Adolescent Moral Development Lab and is a Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She focuses on how a sense of purpose supports positive youth development and moral growth. 

Her research explores the connection between purpose and healthy development, how young people discover their purpose, and the growth trajectories of youth committed to various life purposes. Supported by foundations like Spencer and John Templeton, her work has been widely published and featured in media such as the Wall Street Journal, KQED, and Forbes Magazine.

About the episode

In this illuminating episode of Doing Well, Kendall Cotton Bronk, Ph.D., explains that well-being includes a moral dimension where contributing to societal well-being is crucial. She highlights that individuals with a strong sense of purpose experience greater personal happiness and health and are also motivated to positively impact the broader community.

Kendall explains that purpose is a contributor to and an indicator of well-being, citing research that shows individuals with purpose lead more satisfied lives. Purpose is associated with psychological, physical, and social benefits, including better sleep, resilience, and deeper connections with others. Kendall emphasizes the importance of cultivating purpose, especially among young people.

Kendall explores the evolution of a sense of purpose over time, emphasizing that it’s not static but can change and evolve. She discusses the importance of patience and gratitude in the search for purpose and how gratitude practices can indirectly contribute to finding purpose. Kendall also mentions her personal journey of discovering her purpose, which led to a discussion about childhood influences and professional experiences.

In conclusion

In this episode, Kendall explores the evolving nature of purpose, highlighting its fluidity and the role of gratitude in its cultivation. Through practical exercises and personal anecdotes, she emphasizes the ongoing journey of self-discovery, encouraging listeners to embrace patience and reflection in uncovering their sense of purpose. Ultimately, she underscores that purpose is a dynamic process that enriches lives.

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