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Diane Dreher: Helping People Discover Their Potential

Published on 04/13/2022

What is your life’s purpose?

My life’s purpose is using my personal strengths to help people discover their potential and to make a positive difference in the world.

How are you living your purpose?

I am an author. My book, The Tao of Inner Peace shows people how they can create greater peace within and around them. I also conduct research about hope, meditation, and self-discovery. And as a positive psychology coach, I help my clients discover their strengths, set goals they can believe in, and live with greater joy, purpose, and possibility.

How did you find your purpose?

My father was in the Air Force, so we moved frequently throughout my childhood. At each new assignment, I’d find my way to the local library, where I’d discover books that became my virtual friends, sources of hope and inspiration. Years later, I worked my way through college and went on to graduate school at UCLA, where I got my Ph.D. in English. I became a college professor, teaching and writing about Renaissance literature. I also studied Eastern philosophy, fascinated by the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching that foreshadowed so much research in positive psychology. I returned to school for my Master’s degree in Counseling and began writing about this convergence of East and West. The Tao Te Ching tells us that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and my journey of discovery continues with each new step.

What advice do you have for purpose seekers?

My book, Your Personal Renaissance, describes four stages in the journey to find our life’s purpose:

  1. Discovery: discovering our personal strengths—what we’re good at; what we love to do.
  2. Detachment: detaching from distractions, outgrown habits, and external demands that prevent us from using our strengths.
  3. Discernment: getting in touch with our core values, our inner compass.
  4. Direction: setting meaningful goals and using active hope to achieve them; moving forward with strategic steps and motivation.

What resources do you recommend?

Connect with Diane:
Email: ddreher@scu.edu
Website: https://www.dianedreher.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diane.dreher.50
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dianedreher/

Diane Dreher, Ph.D., is a bestselling author, researcher, and positive psychology coach. Her books, The Tao of Inner Peace, The Tao of Personal Leadership, The Tao of Womanhood, Inner Gardening, and Your Personal Renaissance, have been translated into ten languages and her work has been featured in media outlets including USA Today, Entrepreneur, Redbook, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Science of Mind, radio and TV talk shows, and websites on leadership and personal growth.

Dreher has a Ph.D. in Renaissance English literature from UCLA as well as a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She is a HeartMath clinical practitioner and a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. Her research on positive psychology and hope has been published online and in academic books and journals. She is currently professor emerita and associate director of the Applied Spirituality Institute at Santa Clara University and a lecturer in the Positive Psychology Guild in the United Kingdom.

HeleneTStelian Musing
I’m Hélène Stelian, the Midlife Mentor with a passion for facilitating personal development in women 40+. Through my THRIVE Courses, I help introspective, curious, action-oriented women 40+ deepen their journeys of self-discovery and growth—and create their next chapter with courage and intention.



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