Episode #006: Emily Esfahani Smith on stopping the chase for happiness and finding meaning instead

I first met Emily Esfahani Smith when I was an assistant instructor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program.  One of my responsibilities was to read and grade theory papers for one of the classes.  I was absolutely blown away by the power and insight of her writing.  I remember thinking at the time that one day I’d be reading a future book from her.

Just five years later and I found myself engrossed in her popular new book – The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters.  In the book, Emily argues that we should stop chasing happiness and instead pursue a life of meaning and purpose.  This point of view comes from years of psychology and philosophy research and interviews with people from all around the world.

If you’ve ever struggled with finding happiness in life, trying to understand how your life fits with it all  … Then check out this interview and pick up her book.  You will not regret it. It’s a great way to understand how we can understand meaning and purpose, and craft a life worth living.

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In today’s episode, Emily and I discuss:

  • Why we should be pursuing meaning in life over happiness.
  • What are the 4 critical pillars of meaning and how we integrate them into our life.
  • Recommendations of books with amazing examples of people finding and creating meaning in their life and even a book that will help you to develop more well-being in your life.
  • And a ton of other key insights and practical lessons!

Emily’s  Book

The Power of Meaning

Books Emily Recommends

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Heidth

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Bonus Book Recommendation by Tom

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Emily in Action

Check Out These Resources Mentioned

The Stay Focused App to help minimize online distractions (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Emily’s New York Times article, You’ll Never Be Famous – And That’s Ok.

Connect with Emily on Twitter.

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Learn how you can stop chasing happiness & pursue a life of meaning with Emily Esfahani on @NYN_Podcast. Listen nextyearnowpodcast.com/006″

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