Dr. Victor Strecher, University of Michigan School of Public Health professor, shares his inspirational story after losing his 19-year-old daughter in 2010 to a rare heart condition. Since then, he has focused his life on learning and teaching about living a life with purpose and a “transcendental meaning.”
“The key to living a better life is living with a focus on giving rather than taking,” Dr. Strecher said. In an attempt to live in a more transcendent way, he encourages people to think about things bigger than themselves, helping people become less defensive, leading to a healthier, more positive lifestyle. It also increases lifespan, happiness, resilience in stressful events and overall health, he said.
He has pondered why people refrain from making changes when they know things are not good for them. He helps people make healthy changes in their lives. Based on his research, Strecher believes that human beings get “defensive and protect their ego, self identity and who they think they are.”
“Our society has become increasingly nihilistic,” Dr. Strecher said. “It has become a place with less focus on a true meaning in life.”
He has found that different populations can benefit from learning more about living life with purpose and with meaning larger than themselves. He speaks in retirement homes, businesses, high schools, universities, and many other groups.
Asked what he would tell young people in search of their identity, Strecher said, “An unexamined life is not worth living. Ask why am I here and think about what you’re going to do in your brief time here on earth.”
One thought-provoking idea he presents- think about what you would want written on your tombstone and consider the legacy you will leave.
Dr. Strecher wrote a book called “On Purpose” about philosophy and your health and how to change your life. He has created a free app, as well. The book is available on Amazon, at Literati and Nicola’s Books. www.dungbeetle.org.