The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters
In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life. Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit--that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life's secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us--right here, right now. To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources--from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives. To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning--from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning. Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.
Beautifully written and rigorously researched, The Power of Meaningspeaks to the yearning we all share for a life of depth and significance.In a culture constantly shouting about happiness, this warm and wise book leads us down the path to what truly matters. Reading it is a life-transforming experience. SUSAN CAIN, author ofQuiet A riveting read on the quest for the one thing that matters more than happiness. Emily Esfahani Smith reveals why we lose meaning in our lives and how to find it. Beautifully written, evidence-based, and inspiring, this is a book I ve been awaiting for a very long time. ADAM GRANT, author ofOriginalsandGive and Take; professor at theWharton School From sleep-deprived teens to overworked professionals, Americans are suffering from an epidemic of stress and exhaustion. It s clear our definition of success is broken. As Emily Esfahani Smith shows, only by finding our purpose and opening ourselves to life's mystery can we find true well being. Combining cutting-edge research with storytelling, The Power of Meaning inspires us to zero in on what really matters. ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, author of Thrive This powerful, beautifully written book weaves together seamlessly cutting-edge psychological research, moving personal narratives and insights from great literature to make a convincing case that the key to a good life is finding or creating meaning. BARRY SCHWARTZ, author of The Paradox of Choice; emeritus professor of psychology, Swarthmore College The Power of Meaningdeftly tells the stories of people, contemporary and historical, who have made the quest for meaning the mission of their lives. Thispowerful yet elegant book will inspire you to live a life of significance. DANIEL H. PINK, author ofDrive The search for meaning just got a little easier, and a little more fun. To follow Emily Esfahani Smith in this great human quest is to undertake a rewarding journey with a sure-footed guide. DARRIN M. MCMAHON, author of Happiness: A History; Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor of History, Dartmouth College All too often, wesleepwalkthrough life without examiningit.The Power of Meaningshows us another path. How can we find purpose? What role does our work have inthe search formeaning? Thisdeeplyresearched yet highly readable book can help you answer those questions. CHRIS GUILLEBEAU, author ofBorn for ThisandThe $100 Startup "A powerful invitation to live a life that is not only happy but filled with purpose, belonging, and transcendence. By combining scientific research and philosophical insights with moving accounts of ordinary people who have deeply meaningful lives, Smith addresses the most urgent questions of our existence in a delightful, masterful, and inspiring way." EMMASEPPALA, author of The Happiness Track; Science Director, Stanford University s Center for Compassion and Altruism"
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