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Find Your Why: Meaningful Work, Meaningful Life
Bill Johnson, Student Success Navigator,
Life Design Catalyst Coach, and Instructor
School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS)
University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)
A Great Life…
“A great life includes something worth living for, maybe even worth
dying for. A portion of a great life would be devoted to something
bigger, greater, grander than yourself. Something that inspires you,
energizes you, pulls you forward. Something that responds to your
unique talent or touch and, ultimately, makes a difference in the world
around you. A great life would naturally bring more meaning, purpose,
love, laughter, wonder, and adventure to your days. And, at the end of
your journey you would look back on a life of significance, rather than
regret – knowing in your heart that you left the world better than you
found it. Knowing that you made a difference in the lives of others.
Knowing that you got something wonderful out of it, and you gave
something wonderful back. A great life, of course, is not something we
experience, it’s something we create.” Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada
Why Life Design – in College? • 80% of college students don't know what to do in college.
• 75% of students change their major at least once.
• 67% of students in HHS125 stated that their biggest fear/greatest challenge in college was choosing the right major/making sure their major is the right choice.
• 36% of adults who pursued or completed a postsecondary degree would choose a different major/field of study.
• 41% - percentage of students who don't graduate from 4-year college in 6 years (59% graduation rate)
• 71% - percentage of students who don't graduate from 2-year college in 3 years (29% graduation rate)
• 50% of first-year students don't graduate from UNCG in 5 years (50% graduation rate); 45% don’t graduate in 6 years (55% graduation rate).
• 40-50% of population will be potential independent workers (freelance, consultants, etc.) by 2020.
• 90% of population will be potential independent workers by 2040.
• 50% of occupations today will no longer exist by 2025.
• 2.8 years in a job for people between ages 25 and 34 (4.2 years for all workers).
• 5.6% of 2016 college graduates were unemployed; 12.6% are in jobs that don’t required a college degree. (In comparison, 17.9% of 2016 high school graduates were unemployed; 33.7% are in jobs that don’t required a high school degree.)
• 36 million - number of adults with college credit and no degree in U.S.
• 21% - percentage of adults in Guilford County have college credit and no degree (67,000+ adults)
Maslow’s (Revised) Hierarchy of Needs
Life Design Catalyst Coaching
Emphasizes Self-expertise – “You are the expert on you”
• Personal Growth and Development
• Transformation and Transcendence
Features “purpose and meaning” as foundation for success
Empowers people to take control of their lives through self-
Fosters professional development through personal reinvention
Provides the foundation to build the entrepreneurial spirit
Most asked question:
What SHOULD I do with my life?
(tell me what to do…)
What COULD I do with my life?
How do I want to live my life?
(help me decide on my options)
Life Design Program
Purpose: Who do I want to be?
Meaning: What do I want to do?
You are called to engage in the noble and courageous pursuit of meaningful experiences to become a better person and contribute to the greater good.
The Life Design Program is not about planning a career,
it’s about designing a meaningful life.
Design Your Life Courses
•First-Year • HHS125: What Could I Do With My Life (1 cr)
• HHS135: Redesign a Life You’ll Love (1 cr)
•Second Year • HHS250: Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship (3 cr)
• HHS275: Entrepreneurial Personal Branding (3 cr)
•HUGE PLUS: No books required for ALL our DYL classes (Open Education Network fans)!
HHS125: What Could I Do With My Life
• 1-credit course.
• Meets 50 minutes once a week.
• No more than 20 students per class.
• Course is focused on YOU – all activities are based on answers about you and your life.
• Main requirement: Show up for class and do the work.
• About 80% of students receive an “A.”
• Strongly recommended for KIN, CSD, and Pre-Health Nursing Interest students (although all HHS/UNCG students should take it).
• Students who take the class are more likely to come back to college the following year and graduate in five years or less.
• Instructors are HHS Student Success Navigators (Life Coaches).
• Personal Responsibility • Kick-Ass Questions About
Life • I Am Statements
• Personality Type • Personal Core and
Desired Work Values • Character and
• “Lollipop” Moments • Portfolio Life
• Meaningful Work • Visionary Lifework
Twitter Pitch • Seven Word Life Motto
• Posters/Presentations • My Life Story • Major/Career/Calling
Exploration • Personal Charter
My Life Story Poster
Personal Charter Poster
Personal Charter Poster
HHS125 Graduation Results
• First-Year Graduation rates (Fall 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011): –5-year = 56.8% (compared to 50.4% for all UNCG students)
–6-year = 63.6% (compared to 56.0% for all UNCG students)
•Current Student Graduation First-Year rates: • Fall 2012 class = 68% on track to graduate in 5 years or less
• Fall 2013 class = 73% on track to graduate in five years or less
•Note: • To graduate in 4-years: 5 classes (15 credits) a semester for eight
• To graduate in 5-years: 4 classes (12 credits) a semester for ten
What students say…
•As a result of taking “What Could I Do With My Life,” • 97.6% stated that “I have a much better understanding who I am
and what I am meant to do.”
• 95.1% stated that “This course has helped me understand the meaningful work that I’m here to do.”
• 90.2% stated that “I can make better decisions about my future and my life now that I have completed this course.”
• 85.4% stated that “This course helped me decide on my major and/or helped me clarify that I am in the right major.”
• 97.4% stated that “I believe a course like this should be a required course for ALL new students.”
Know Your Why: Michael Jr.
Benefits to “Know Your Why”
• Live up to 7 years longer
• Protect against heart disease
• Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
•Handle pain better
• Leads to better relationships
• Increase in work productivity
• Sleep better
• Promotes resilience
•Decrease use of healthcare services
• Produces a 0.20 increase in GPA
• Less likely to be depressed
• Increase in business success
• Reduces stress
•More effective leader
• Better sex
Meaningful Work Statement
Meaningful Work Statement
• Because I value __________ (value) and have an interest in __________ (interest), I will use my strengths in __________ (talents and gifts) to __________ (action) __________ (audience) so that __________ (impact/change).
• My meaningful work is to use my skills in __________ (talents and gifts) to __________ (action) __________ (audience) so that __________ (impact/change), since I value __________ (value) and have an interest in __________ (interests).
Bill’s Example: Because I value wisdom and personal growth and development and have an interest in self-help and well-being, I will use my talents and gifts in group facilitation and connecting people to empower students, faculty, and staff in higher education AND people at a crossroads in life so that they can optimize their lives to become better people and make a positive contribution to the world.
Meaningful Work Test
1. Could you do this meaningful work if you had to start out making little money, like minimum wage?
2. Could you love engaging in this meaningful work on a daily basis?
3. Could this meaningful work inspire you to get out of bed most mornings?
4. Could this meaningful work allow you to use your gifts, talents, and/or strengths on a regular basis?
5. Could you see time flying by when engaged in this meaningful work?
6. Could you see the possibility of making more money