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Why the search for meaning rather happiness is the true route to a fulfilling life.



'Life-transforming' Susan Cain, author of Quiet

Searching for happiness is overrated, learn to find meaning instead

There is a persistent myth in our culture that in order to lead a fulfilling life we must pursue happiness at all times. In her groundbreaking work, Emily Esfahani Smith explains that it is actually the search for meaning that will bring fulfilment. She argues that meaning is all around us in vast untapped resources, and that the key is finding it in the right here, right now. Her inspiring TED Talk on the same topic has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

To explore how we can change our lives for the better, she draws on the latest research in psychology, sociology, philosophy and neuroscience, as well as insights from figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle and the Buddha. She 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 do this she visits remarkable people and places, such as a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and a drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit. 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.

Reviews

An intelligent page turner…illuminating…the book mounts a timely challenge

PROSPECT

Speaks to the yearning we all share for a life of depth and significance...Beautifully written and rigorously researched...reading it is a life-transforming experience

SUSAN CAIN, authof of Quiet

A beautiful book, full of hope. While drawing on the best scientific evidence, it also stirs us with powerful narratives of living full of meaning.

PROF RICHARD LAYARD, author of Happiness: lessons from a new science

Evidence-based and inspiring, this is a book I've been awaiting for a very long time.

ADAM GRANT, author of Originals

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.

EMMA SEPPALLA, author of The Happiness Track

The analysis that opens the book, and that structures the whole, is simple and elegant… The insight that, in our daily lives, we need to think of others and to have goals that include caring for others or working for something other than our own prosperity and advancement is the most valuable message in the book.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Power of Meaning deftly tells the stories of people, contemporary and historical, who have made the quest for meaning the mission of their lives. This powerful yet elegant book will inspire you to live a life of significance

DANIEL H. PINK, author of Drive

From sleep-deprived teens to overworked professionals, we 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

The search for meaning just got a little easier, and a lot 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

Beautifully written, evidence-based and inspiring, this is a book I've been awaiting for a very long time.

Adam Grant, author of Originals

Speaks to the yearning we all share for a life of depth and significance...Beautifully written and rigorously researched...reading it is a life-transforming experience...

Susan Cain, author of Quiet

The Power of Meaning deftly tells the stories of people, contemporary and historical, who have made the quest for meaning the mission of their lives. This powerful yet elegant book will inspire you to live a life of significance

Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive

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