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Publisher's Summary

This wise, stirring book argues that the search for meaning can immeasurably deepen our lives and is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.
There is a myth in our culture that the search for meaning is some esoteric pursuit - that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to figure out life's great secret. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us - right here, right now. Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology; on insights from George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, the Buddha, and other great minds; and on interviews with seekers of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith lays out the four pillars upon which meaning rests.
Belonging: We all need to find our tribe and forge relationships in which we feel understood, recognized, and valued - to know we matter to others.
Purpose: We all need a far-reaching goal that motivates us, serves as the organizing principle of our lives, and drives us to make a contribution to the world.
Storytelling: We are all storytellers, taking our disparate experiences and assembling them into a coherent narrative that allows us to make sense of ourselves and the world.
Transcendence: During a transcendent or mystical experience, we feel we have risen above the everyday world and are connected to something vast and meaningful.
To bring those concepts to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of untimely loss, and more. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture of meaning in our schools, our workplaces, and our communities.
Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a richer, more satisfying life.
©2017 Emily Esfahani Smith (P)2017 Random House Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Xiao Li Tan on 03-16-17

Great exploration of meaning

It's a much needled topic for modern living. I find the examples very appealing, easy to follow and quite meaningful. It's a beautifully written book with so much heart. Highly recommend it!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Emily Ruth on 02-08-17

Life changing

I really hadn't intended on reading this book myself. I mainly purchased it for my daughter on a whim. I'm so grateful I did. so many beautiful perspectives brought to fruition. I feel like on our current state of divisive America, this book helped me focus on compassion, rather than politics for a moment, which was a blessing and hard to do.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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