How To Find Meaning IN Life | Dr Brian Lowery PhD

Three things generate a sense of meaning IN life;

  1. Coherence – can you make sense of the world?
  2. Purpose – do you feel a sense of purpose with what you do? And
  3. Significance – does your life matter?

Having meaning in your life is correlated with a sense of self certainty. Knowing who you are and having a sense of self, gives you structure and a stable way of seeing the world.

It's hard to have meaning in life if you don't feel like you know who you are. Share on X

But how do you answer the question “who am I?” Our guest, Dr Brian Lowery PhD says the answer isn’t as individualistic as we may have been led to believe. Not only do those around us; our friends, co-workers and parents contribute to who we are, Brian claims they actually create who we are. Putting it bluntly, there is no way of separating “you” from your relationships.

Where you are and who you're around….they don't just contribute to who you are, they create who you are…The most extreme way of saying it is that those things are who you are. There's not a you that’s separate from those things. Share on X

We’ve waited a long time to talk to Brian, who is the Walter Kenneth Kilpatrick Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a social psychologist by training, but Brian’s work is by no means traditional in that field. He studies how individuals perceive inequality, and his research explores individuals’ experiences of inequality and fairness in a way that sheds light on intergroup conflict and the nature of social justice. Brian is also a fellow podcaster, hosting the show Know What You See which is definitely worth checking out.

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(5:21) Welcome to Brian Lowery and speed round questions.

(7:34) The meaning IN life vs. the meaning OF life.

(9:23) How meaning in life is linked to a sense of self certainty.

(13:30) Context matters: those around us create who we are.

(17:13) What are you referring to when you talk about you?

(19:23) The responsibility we have when interacting with others.

(21:27) Does authenticity assume a stability of self?

(26:17) Our relationships define us while also limiting our freedom.

(30:59) The myth of rugged individualism.

(36:35) Do we really have freewill?

(42:06) What Brian talks about on his podcast, Know What You See.

(43:42) What role does music play in the identity of self?

(51:43) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing the meaning in life.

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AIRDATE: August 15, 2022 EPISODE 312

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How To Find Meaning IN Life | Dr Brian Lowery PhD

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Dr Brian Lowery PhD

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