The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness by Emily Esfahani Smith – Review

The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with HappinessThe Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness by Emily Esfahani Smith was published on September 5th, 2017 by Broadway Books and is a psychology book. This wise, stirring book argues that the search for meaning can immeasurably deepen our lives, and that it 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 Aristotle, George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, the Buddha, and other great minds; and on interviews with seekers of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith identifies four pillars of meaning: Belonging, Purpose, Storytelling, and Transcendence. To bring those concepts 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 found 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 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.”



Emily Esfahani SmithEmily graduated in philosophy in 6/2009 from Dartmouth. Her purpose combines Farsi fluency w/experience as Dartmouth Review editor: she’ll explore Middle East democratization thru the lens of Iranian college press freedom, answering: “How does the Iranian government’s pragmatism & nascent inkling towards liberalism translate into policy on censorship & expression?” She’ll become a student herself, living with relatives & registering at either the U of Tehran or of Esfahan. Thru relations w/students running newspapers, blogs & other media, she’ll determine “the extent to which debate & dissent are features of campus life, both in & out of the classroom.” She’ll present her findings to the State Dept & DC think tank scholars, policy makers & academics. Ultimately, she wants a graduate degree & career centered on Middle Eastern foreign policy. Her Wm E. Simon Fellowship for Noble Purpose helps her begin this work.


My thoughts: The Power of Meaning is the kind of book that will change the way you look at life. It teaches you how to focus on other people and less on yourself so that you will have a much happier life. This book was not a quick read for me even though it is a short book. I was constantly looking things up or reflecting on the things that I read. You will find yourself rereading this book from time to time for inspiration. Overall, I feel this book is a great read if you are looking for a self help book to help you achieve a happier overall life. **I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. ** 


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