The Path to Purpose: A Book Review

Book Cover

The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life

Author: Bill Damon, PhD

Bill Damon recognizes purpose in life applies not just to adults — but also to adolescents.

What exactly is meant by purpose?

Purpose is “a stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at the same time meaningful to the self and consequential for the world beyond the self.”

Some young people have a sense of purpose — in that they can express a clear vision of where they want to go, what they want to accomplish in life, and why. But most do not have a sense of purpose or even a sense of direction for their life. Exemplar cases of young people with a sense of purpose are showcased, and the common themes among these exemplars are highlighted. Parents, societies, and communities can help cultivate a sense of purpose in young people.

The strength of The Path to Purpose lies in its description of how parents can help their own children cultivate a sense of purpose.

The book did not adequately address how parents in lower income brackets (whom may be too busy themselves working) can adequately support their children and help them find their purposes in life. This was, in my opinion, a weakness of this book.

Damon shows that cultivating purpose is at the core of how adults can support adolescents and help them thrive. The book is easy to follow, and provides clear, tangible advice.

Overall, this book is highly recommended to parents, educators, coaches, clergy, or anyone with a vested interest in the development of children.