My youngest son is home visiting from medical school. He’s shared many interesting stories from his classes and tales about trying to learn remotely. It sounds like there are ups and downs and a lot of stress, which I know is to be expected. His ability to handle all the challenges that lay ahead seems doable to him because he knows this would help him achieve the purpose for his life. His entire life he has wanted to help the human race. He hopes to do this through medicine. His purpose is what drives him forward. Everyone needs a purpose in life.

Having a fulfilling purpose is a fundamental element of a fulfilling life. When we don’t have a sense of purpose, it leaves us open to boredom, anxiety, and depression. Viktor Frank, in his book “Mans Search for Meaning” about the holocaust, describes this. People in the concentration camps that were not able to find a purpose suffered from more depression, anxiety, and despair, whereas those that maintained their sense of purpose fared much better.

Everyone’s purpose is personal. Your purpose may be as simple as spreading kindness by smiling at everyone.

No matter what your circumstances in life, remember that your story is important. Your dreams count. Your voice matters. If you discover your purpose it will make an impact and that will have an impact on you!


“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes” Roy Bennett

Thanksgiving is a time of family. With the pandemic before us, many of us have not been able to join together and share time with those we love. My table this year was missing my eldest son, not because of the pandemic, but because he joined the National Guard and is now at Boot Camp. I am so proud of both my sons and the choices they are making as they make their way in the world. You don’t get to choose all the circumstances you face in the world. You don’t get to choose your family of origin, but you do get to choose what you make of those circumstances and what you become.

The world puts labels on everyone: mentally ill, special needs, handicapped, chronic pain, organ transplant, hyperactive, poor, minority, homosexual, victim, etc. Everyone has been given some sort of label at some time in their life. A key to resilience is to not be defined by that label. Don't let that label be your first or only identifier. It should be as if it was drawn on with a dry erase marker. It is simply one facet of your life, not the definition of who you are. Then take a permanent marker and write down your goals, dreams, and the legacy you want to leave for the world. We all have inherent worth as human beings. We all have unique character strengths we share with the world to make it a better place. When we focus on our strengths instead of our weaknesses we actually become stronger!

Thanksgiving is a great time to be thankful for our strengths.