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Blog and Insights, Dr. Vic Strecher

A Vitamin or an Aspirin?

In early August we conducted a survey of Purposeful users. The survey was intended to better understand the people who were using the app: their interests and their needs, how they were using the app, and what they thought about the app. It was heartening to have a huge response to the survey and I’d like to share some of the findings I thought were most interesting.

First, we wanted to understand what’s important to Purposeful users. A majority said that taking care of their health is a priority (followed closely by their family, personal growth, their community, and environmental sustainability).

So what does taking care of one’s health really mean? Are Purposeful users looking for a “vitamin,” something that makes you even better than you currently are? Or, are they in need of an “aspirin,” that is, trying to fix something that’s gone wrong? We ask this question amongst ourselves at Kumanu: are we building an application that fixes people’s problems or one that helps people become even better? Can you

So we asked people why they started using Purposeful. The findings confirmed our suspicions: we found that some people tended to report using Purposeful to “improve my health and wellbeing,” to “build positive habits,” to “be a better person,” to “discover more about myself.” These phrases seem to reflect a health promotive motive: vitamin seekers. Others tended to report starting to use Purposeful in order to “get help with challenges,” to “find more purpose,” and to “feel better.” These sentiments seemed to reflect Purpose as an aspirin: trying to fix something that was lacking.

We found that roughly 30% of respondents were using Purposeful mainly as a vitamin, about 16% using it mainly as an aspirin, and 26% using it both as a vitamin and an aspirin. The remaining 28% started Purposeful for other various reasons, such as simply being curious about the app.

When asked why they continue using Purposeful, roughly half of respondents said that it helped them develop positive habits and that the tips and resources provided in the app particularly influenced continued use. Over a quarter of respondents said that Purposeful helped them stay focused and connected to things that matter most. By the way, this is the core concept of Purposeful and why we believe it can be both a vitamin and an aspirin.

Over 80% of Purposeful users said they would be disappointed if they could no longer use the app. Respondents shared very positive (and heartening) messages to us. Here’s a small fraction of them: 

  • “Please keep up the excellent work! And thank you SO much for offering this!” 
  • “Thank you for being available when I need to remind myself to be grateful and refocus on my pu ose.”
  • “Thank you for this service.”
  • “Thank you for donating to Feed America.” 
  • “Thank you for your continuous efforts to help others. Highly appreciated!”
  • “Thank you for your commitment to wellness. I hope this service isn’t taken away.”
  • “I feel very blessed to be able to use this program. It has helped me through a hard time. Thank you.

Other comments offered useful suggestions:

  • “Keep improving the app. Keep it simple. Don’t complicate it.”
  • “Great concept, but it’s too confusing. I am a type A personality and I need structure.”

I particularly enjoyed one comment:

  • “You folks do a good job. I hope you continue to reach out to all segments of society.”

Being in the field of public health, I am interested in all segments of society – not just those at the top of the pyramid. At Kumanu, we continue to work diligently to reach people who most need help, and love that we’re asked to take on these challenges. Purpose isn’t just for people who have everything else. Purpose is a basic need of human beings. It’s food for the soul.

Finally, we asked respondents how they feel when using Purposeful. The number one feeling? Roughly half said “inspired.” This was followed by “grateful” and “focused.” These are our feelings as well – about working with you. We at Kumanu (Maori for “nourish” and “cherish”) feel inspired by you. We’re grateful to be working for you and we’ll continue to be very focused on providing both a vitamin and an aspirin for your wellbeing.

About the Author

Vic Strecher, PhD, MPH

CEO and Chief Purpose Officer, Kumanu

Vic Strecher (PhD, MPH) is a leader and visionary in the fields of purpose and wellbeing, creating new solutions that operate at the intersection of the science of behavior change and advanced technology. In 1998, Vic created Health Media pioneering Web-based “digital health coaching.” Since January 2014, Vic has given keynote presentations about the role of purpose in life, energy, and willpower to over 1,500 organizations, providing him the opportunity to not only respond to the growing interests of the market, but to also continue to help shape it. In late 2015, Kumanu (formerly JOOL Health) was launched as a major paradigm shift in how individuals engage in the pursuit of purpose, meaning and wellbeing while offering organizations a more insightful means to support positive culture and behavior change.

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