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The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters Audio CD – Audiobook, 10 January 2017
10 Days Replacement OnlyThis item is eligible for free replacement, within 10 days of delivery, in an unlikely event of damaged, defective or different item delivered to you. Please keep the item in its original condition, with outer box or case, accessories, CDs, user manual, warranty cards, scratch cards, and other accompaniments in manufacturer packaging for a successful return pick-up. We may contact you to ascertain the damage or defect in the product prior to issuing replacement.
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.
—SUSAN CAIN, author of Quiet
“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
“An enlightening guide to discovering meaning in one’s life… Smith persuasively reshapes the reader’s understanding of what constitutes a well-lived life.”
“Thoughtful… Underscoring the power of connection, the author assures readers that finding meaning is not the result of ‘some great revelation’ but rather small gestures and humble acts.”
“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 of Originals and Give and Take; professor at the Wharton 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
"A wonderful, engaging writer... [Smith] offers clear, compelling, and above all useful advice for how to live with meaning and purpose."
—ROD DREHER, The American Conservative
“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 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
“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”.
—LORD RICHARD LAYARD, Director, Well-Being Programme, Centre for Economic Performance
“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, we sleepwalk through life without examining it. The Power of Meaning shows us another path. How can we find purpose? What role does our work have in the search for meaning? This deeply researched—yet highly readable—book can help you answer those questions.”
—CHRIS GUILLEBEAU, author of Born for This and The $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.”
—EMMA SEPPÄLÄ, author of The Happiness Track; Science Director, Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism
“An intelligent page-turner… In a world that seems caught between pure hedonism and divisive sectarianism, the book mounts a timely challenge.”
About the Author
- Publisher : Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (10 January 2017)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0735286485
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735286481
- Item Weight : 168 g
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 2.79 x 14.73 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from India
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I got the information about the book from TED Talk, which was given by author, Emily and immediately glued to the concept of meaning in life.
It was riveting experience & I was glued to the book till it is finished. The background study, the back-up data or experience of the Author was great. The experience’s connections to its pillars were great. The example are live current example, the person’s which are currently doing / following these pillars. I goggled almost every person / place / community, which are mentioned in the book and found more about them, their experiences.
The book was great journey into the lives of others and in between searching for meaning of life for self. It was great introspection experience of life time, it tickles your brain to think extra, do extra, find that extra in you. To do extra for others, not for self.
The Power of Meaning
Top reviews from other countries
Smith examines despondency and mental distress associated with the loss of a sense of purpose, and the various ways one can overcome that. She provides examples from Leo Tolstoy to Will Durant, and to films like ‘Good Will Hunting’. The theme of this book is that we need to find a meaning and purpose in life. That is a fine thing for some people, and this book augments religion and philosophy insofar as they reach out to people who are searching for the meaning in life.
This book therefore does not take into account that there is an alternative view – that there is no meaning or purpose in life except to be good, do good, and live. There is some overlap in this view and hers, but the critical difference is that the alternative view accepts that there is no ‘meaning’ – whatever that might mean – to life. We exist, then we cease to exist. To live is to die. That applies to all living things, plant or animal. We are no exception. But that does not mean that those who accept this are zombies or are inhuman, or are desperate and unhappy. The flaw in Smith’s thesis lies in the assumption that unless we actively search for meaning and to live life the way she prescribes, we end up despondent and suicidal.
Her account of how retirees live is an example. She holds the view that unless they have a purpose in life, retirees are going to be unhappy in retirement. She thinks that retirees must learn to contribute to society. People who spend the better part of their lives in service of society might wish to relax and spend the rest of their lives for themselves. Should society begrudge them that if that makes them happy? Again, there is an overlap between the two alternative views. Some retirees continue to contribute, some a lot more, some a lot less, and some not at all. That does not mean that they are or will be unhappy unless they find a meaning in life. She may not appreciate that many retirees, precisely because they are at that stage in life, see no purpose in finding the meaning of life. Perhaps they have been there, done that. It is an attitude that is not the preserve of retirees. The enlightened youth can be happy, contribute to society, and be good, without searching for the meaning of life. If there is that answer will be an eternal best seller topping any other book on earth.
Don’t worry, be good, be happy.