Six years ago, Victor Strecher, Ph.D., said goodbye to his daughter, Julia, who died of a rare heart condition at the age of 19. Today, this U-M professor and director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship of at the University of Michigan School of Public Health has learned to channel his grief, helping others along the way.
Dr. Strecher’s commitment to teaching his 250 students as if they were his own daughter has fueled his belief in living a purposeful life. “Identifying your core values and aligning them with your life’s purpose — whatever you determine that to be — can help you change your behavior in positive and profound ways,” he says.
No matter what your situation — illness, divorce, family death, depression — Dr. Strecher believes you can overcome the challenges you’re presented with. “If you want a more fulfilled life, having a purpose and living in alignment with that purpose is important.”
Dr. Strecher says his own purpose — to be available to every one of his students, most of whom regularly visit his office for career advice, medical school information and general issues — requires a great deal of energy and will power. He’s able to be there for each student by aligning his purpose and core values through what he refers to as SPACE:
- Get ample Sleep each night.
- Be Present and live in the moment.
- Fit Activity into the day.
- Allow Creativity to grow.
- Eat in a healthy and mindful way.
“I give myself the SPACE to be in alignment with my core values,” he says.
Toward a more fulfilled life
As a professor, author (“On Purpose” and “Life On Purpose”) and keynote speaker at more than 100 conferences, Dr. Stretcher urges his students and conference attendees to follow these steps to a more fulfilled life:
- Determine your core values (what is most important to you?).
- Write down what you perceive your purpose to be. “If it fits, wear it. If not, keep trying to define your purpose.”
- Be mindful of how you live your life in accordance with your purpose.
A Healing Heart Retreat
As the keynote speaker at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center Healing Heart Retreat, Dr. Victor Strecher will share his insight with heart patients who want to take part in their own healing process. Don’t miss this interactive retreat, Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center Atrium and Danto Auditorium.
Take the next step:
- Heart patients and their families are encouraged to register for the Healing Heart Retreat, a half-day of nurturing hearts and minds, Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center Atrium and Danto Auditorium.
- Hear Dr. Strecher speak about a purpose-driven life.
The University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit umcvc.org.