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. Read more...
- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceThe Power of Meaning (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group$35.00
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.
- ISBN-13: 9780553419993
- ISBN-10: 0553419994
- Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 304
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Journalist Smith, who has an M.A. in applied positive psychology, issues an enlightening guide to discovering meaning in ones life. She states that despite a culturally ingrained appreciation for the pursuit of happiness, Americans report being more miserable than ever. Paradoxically, pursuing happiness for its own sake often leads to unhappiness, whereas studies show that meaningful endeavors instill a deeper sense of well-being. Smith shares evocative stories of individuals who chose to focus on meaning, including famous authors such as Leo Tolstoy and Albert Camus; a zookeeper who spends much of her time with giraffes, kangaroos, and wallabies; and members of the Dinner Party, a national support group for young adults who have lost loved ones. Additionally, she explores the concept of growth through adversity, asking why some people grow after trauma while others do not. She also examines the obstacles that stand in the way of meaning, such as the fast pace of modern life. This survey concludes with the moving story of Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist who survived imprisonment in the Nazi concentration camp where most of his family died and went on to write Mans Search for Meaning. Smith persuasively reshapes the readers understanding of what constitutes a well-lived life. Agent: Bridget Matzi, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (Jan.)