Updated: Nov 27
“Meaning sets the agenda and guarantee and explain the outcome.” ~Logoteleology Axiom ~
A first in a new series to introduce Meaningful Purpose Psychology.
The human psyche, with its myriad complexities, has been a topic of intrigue and study for centuries. An emergent discipline known as "Meaningful Purpose Psychology," or “Logoteleology,” has garnered attention within this vast realm. Through the Boston Institute for Meaningful Purpose, the hub of logoteleology studies and application, this field explores the deep-seated motivations and desires that guide human behavior, emphasizing the quest for meaning and purpose. Let's delve into this captivating domain.
The Core Constructs: Meaning, Motivation, and Purpose
Logoteleology intricately weaves together three pivotal constructs:
1. Meaning (Logos): This is where our journey begins. Meaning involves perceptions (including sensory), interpretations, and beliefs derived from our biological DNA, experiences, and knowledge. These perceptions and interpretations shape the very essence of our understanding, setting the backdrop for subsequent motivations and actions. It can be said that meaning sets the behavioral agenda. For instance, awareness that we are thirsty (meaning) triggers (motivation) the (purposeful) action of drinking fluids.
2. Motivation (Thelos): Once a particular meaning is discerned, it acts as the spark for motivation. This dynamic energy, in type and intensity, is fueled by the established meaning and propels individuals toward purposeful action. For instance, by type, it determines whether the motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic. On the other hand, intensity determines whether the energy in motion is high or low.
3. Purpose (Telos): The tangible avenue for actualizing motivated energy. Every purposeful action, whether consciously or unconsciously, is directed toward fulfilling or realizing the initial meaning that was perceived. Purpose applies competencies to achieve goals.
“We are self-determined by the meaning we give to our experiences, and there is probably something of a mistake always involved when we take particular experiences as the basis for our future life. Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations.”
~ Alfred Adler ~
At the heart of Logoteleology is the concept of "Meaning-Willed Living." This principle suggests and is worth repeating:
Meaning sets the behavioral direction. Based on our perceptions, including sensory inputs and interpretations, meaning spurs a specific type and intensity of motivation.
This motivational energy is then channeled into purposeful behavior. Here, competencies, defined as skills, abilities, and innate strengths, determine individuals' efficacy in realizing and fulfilling their perceived meaning.
“There is a reason for one’s existence and an aim or mission to fulfill.”
~ Marrero and Persuitte, Meaningful Purpose
Imagine a river system:
Meaning (Logos) is akin to the spring where water originates, determining its essence and initial direction.
Motivation (Thelos) represents the direction and force propelling the water (as determined by the meaning).
Purpose (Telos) outlines the river's course, influenced by the terrain (meaning) and its competencies, ensuring the water (motivation) flows effectively to its desired end (fulfillment of meaning).
Logoteleology, with its focus on the interplay between meaning, motivation, and purpose, offers profound insights into the underpinnings of human behavior. It underscores the idea that our actions and pursuits are deeply rooted in the role of meaning in our lives. Meanings explain how we experience life and how to forge a path to human thriving best. Meanings hold our deepest yearnings and reveal our potential. The good news: logoteleological methods improve lives through meaning analysis and development!
The Paths We Choose
To learn more about the meaningful path, we encourage you to attend our next "The Paths We Choose Workshop" planned for Sunday, December 10th, 2023, in Westfield, MA. For more information on this and future sessions, click here: The Paths We Choose: A Workshop | authorluismarrero.