"The Power of Meaning" by Emily Esfahani Smith : Book Summary
NOTE–THIS IS AN AUDIOBOOK SUMMARY OF THE FOLLOWING BOOK:
The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters
by Emily Esfahani Smith
How do we find fulfillment in a world that’s obsessed with fast results and immediate gratification? How do we find fulfillment in a cultural ethos that seems to be on a constant hunt for a form of happiness that seldom contributes to the lasting life-satisfaction? But wait a sec—isn’t happiness the goal? …Isn’t happiness what all of us are after?
As it turns out, the answer is NO. And in this FlashBooks summary on The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith, you’ll find out why that is and what to do about it.
The key to leading a truly satisfying, truly fulfilling life, the author tells us, starts with replacing the goal of happiness with the goal of meaning.
In her book, Esfahani Smith leads us through a combination of ancient wisdom and modern truth, as well as psychological studies and stories from a wide-ranging selection of people from all walks of life—all in an effort to illuminate the path to a life of meaning.
Here’s what you’ll learn about in this FlashBook:
- The crucial difference between happiness and meaning
- What the “four pillars of meaning” are
- How to understand a life of meaning
ORIGINAL BOOK DESCRIPTION:
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.