The Neuroscience of Purpose 🧠
Having a clear purpose in life can extend your life... What's yours?! (8min read)
The Neurological Benefits of Having Purpose
What is a Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP)
The 4 Step Conceive Process
Curiosities, Passions, Problems & Purpose
The Conceive Process
The Conceive process is at the center of everything we do at Rewrite & Rise!
This is our Purpose creation process that all of our employees and clients go through when they work with us.
The concept for this process came from the quote,
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
Rewrite & Rise, and its holding company CBA (Conceive, Believe, Achieve LLC), were started to help people live this quote out in their daily lives using Neuroscience, Technology & Story!
This process consists of 4 parts:
This is not a kum-bah-yah in the forest type of purpose creation process, it was initially designed by Dr. Peter Diamandis & Steven Kolter who runs the Flow Research Collective.
These guys are the leading experts on Flow & Maximizing Human potential!
We’ve adapted it inside of our Conceive process to help people just like you find purpose & meaning in their life.
Massively Transformative Purpose
I like to begin with the end in mind when I’m helping people craft their MTPs.
First of all, what is an MTP? Let’s break it down.
Massive means it’s something large and audacious. The larger the mountain, the more our Mind, Brain, & Body help us climb it!
Transformative means it can bring significant change to an industry, community, or planet.
This plays on our brain's desire to connect with and care for other people, which we will talk more about in Step 3!
Finally, Purpose is a clear "Why" behind the work you’re doing. This works on our human desire for what we’re doing to matter to others.
It is one of the most neurologically potent ingredients for those who want to live a happier, healthier, more meaningful life.
We hear this a lot, but is there any science behind this?
Of course, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this, and I’d be out of a job, ha!
The Neuroscience of Purpose
There aren’t many things that are as good for your brain as Purpose is.
Having a Purpose decreases the reactivity of your Amygdala, and increases the size of your Insular Cortex.
Decreasing the activity of your Amygdala increases your resilience, and lowers your stress levels.
The change in your Insular Cortex alters the way you perceive the world, has been shown to decrease your chances of depression and increases every known metric of Mental & Emotional well-being.
Those who have a Purpose live longer, have less cancer, fewer strokes, and have better heart health.
When tested against someone without a clear life Purpose, those with Purpose had more motivation, were more productive, more resilient to adversity, and more focused.
Having a Purpose also decreases the activity of your Default Mode Network (DMN), and increases your external focus, which decreases excessive internal rumination.
Rummincaiton is one of the leading causes of depression & anxiety.
Finally, having a clear Purpose acts as a beacon to those around you, and attracts more and more people to help you with your cause!
This social support is like a neurochemical cocktail for motivation, drive, and determination!
These reasons and more are why one of my MTPs in life is to,
“Help others find happiness & purpose in their lives.”
This is why I’m excited to take you through these steps, here we go!
Step 1: Curiosities
The first step of this process is all about what you’re curious about.
Curiosity has some potent neurological effects on our dopamine system.
Dopamine focuses us, allows us to see patterns more effectively, makes us feel good, and finally, amplifies our memory.
This is why curiosity is the first step to finding your Purpose.
By laying the foundation with something as potent as things you’re curious about, you’re creating a motivational first floor.
The first thing we’re going to do is write out a list of 25 things you're curious about, things that you could take a weekend researching and would enjoy it!
These should be things you’d be willing to read a couple of books about or attend a workshop about them.
Be as specific as you can be. For example:
Leadership is broad. The skills & mindsets of great leaders is specific.
Basketball is broad. Theories for coaching kids on the mechanics of basketball is specific!
Once you have this list written out, you’re ready for step 2.
Step 2: Passions
The next step is to refine your list of curiosities into passion groups.
You’ll do this by looking at your curiosities list and looking for areas of overlap, or common topics/themes you notice in them.
Write these out, or group them.
Sticking with the examples above, if you’re curious about Leadership & Basketball, could you use basketball as a way to teach kids or even adults about the skills it takes to be a leader?
Lumping together multiple curiosities amplifies the amount of dopamine we get when going after these passions!
You should land on a list of about 5-10 passions from your list of 25 curiosities.
Explore the Intersections
Now that you have this list of passions, it’s time to explore these intersections more.
Take 20-30mins a day to read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, etc around your passions list.
You want to take your time with this, you don’t want to get further along in this process and have gotten your passions wrong, they’re the foundation of your purpose!
Some people notice they have already been doing this with their passions so they’re ready to move on to Step 3.
If you’re not certain, don’t go to Step 3. You’ll know you’re on the right track when what you’re reading or researching pulls you into flow states.
You should be almost addicted to pursuing it. This is a sign you’re releasing the dopamine you need to increase your drive!
Once you feel this, and can add your own ideas & concepts to conversations about your passions, you’re ready for step 3.
Step 3: Problems
Now it’s time to take your passions, which are more focused on yourself, and add in the last component of this Purpose equation.
Our brains are wired to connect with and care for other people. This is at the core of the research around Purpose & the brain.
It’s based on the “Self-Determination Theory” which states that Purpose is our desire for what we do to matter to other people.
This is the extra kick of Dopamine, and oxytocin we need to ignite the fire that Purpose brings to us.
So, how do you do this? The first step is getting another piece of paper out.
Next, write out a list of 5-10 massive problems in the world that you would like to see solved.
Think of things that affect the whole world, a large group, or a specific group, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are problems you want to solve in your lifetime!
The more specific you are the better, just like with your curiosities.
For example, ending world hunger is broad. Ending childhood hunger is more specific, but still a huge problem.
Once you have this list, you are ready to craft your Massively Transformative Purpose.
Step 4: MTP Creation
Finally, it’s time to craft your MTPs. By now you have a refined list of passions and a list of problems you want to solve.
Where do your passions intersect with the problems you wrote down?
This is how to add Purpose to your passions.
This is not a simple process, and it typically doesn’t hurt to have some help in crafting these.
It’s more of an art than anything.
Let’s pretend one of your passions was around saving animal populations that are going extinct, and one of your problems is putting an end to deforestation.
Your MTP statement could be, “Make the world a better place for animals.”
Other MTP examples are:
Advance the science and training of flow.
Help others find happiness & purpose in their life.
Mentoring the average guy.
Bring more attention to climate change through visual storytelling.
Create a HumanAI OS to unite the human race, and shift human evolution.
I recommend having 1-3 MTPs total, if you have more than that, look at your passions list again, and figure out how you could group some more things together.
Also, don’t overcomplicate it, the best MTPs I’ve ever helped someone make are the simplest ones.
Now that you have your MTP, what should you do next?!
An MTP represents the largest mountains you desire to climb in your lifetime.
Now that you have the waypoint, you can craft the journey to get there and break this lifetime goal down into its smallest pieces, allowing you to live every single day of your life knowing that you’re getting closer and closer to your MTP.
In the next 2 phases of the Conceive Program, we do exactly that with our clients.
We don’t have time to do that here, but if you’re interested in learning more about our Heroic Mission process for your MTP, please reach out to us, we would love to help!
Also, send us your MTP’s we would love to feature them on our website and social media!
And as always, until next time, live heroically! 🧠