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Cultivating Your Purpose: Kumanu Science Advisory Board Member Anthony Burrow on Hidden Brain

Do you feel like your life has a clear direction? Do you feel your daily activities are engaging and important? These two questions can help you determine your level of purpose overall and day-to-day. Purpose helps us to overcome the various challenges we all face in life, and it can boost our health, longevity, connection to self and society. In a recent episode of Hidden Brain, Kumanu Scientific Advisory Board Member and Cornell University psychologist Anthony Burrow, Ph.D., explains the ways we can cultivate purpose and how it can transform our lives.

According to Burrow’s research, there are three main pathways to life purpose:

  1. Proactive: You pursue purpose gradually through hobbies and activities.
  2. Reactive: Your purpose emerges in response to life circumstances like illness or job loss.
  3. Social: You observe and draw inspiration from examples of purposeful individuals.

No matter how you find purpose, Burrow’ research reveals that it is essential to wellbeing. Purposeful people have lower incidences of heart attack, stroke, recover from surgery quicker, and show slower rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimers. It mitigates the ill consequences of stressors by strengthening emotional resolve. And purpose acts as a beacon of hope, drawing us through difficult times toward a future accomplishment.

Listen in on the episode for more inspiration and tips to cultivate your own sense of purpose.

anthony burrow headshot

Anthony Burrow, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director, Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory, Cornell University

Anthony Burrow, PhD, is a member of Kumanu’s Science Advisory Board where he helps to shape wellbeing and purposeful initiatives for organizations and their employees. He is also Associate Professor and Director of the Purpose and Identity Processes Laboratory at Cornell University. His research explores how purpose serves as a psychological resource for those who cultivate it.

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