In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life. 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.
For anyone exhausted or disillusioned by the perpetual pursuit of personal happiness, here is the antidote: a book about the pursuit of meaning, a better route to a fulfilling life. We have a lot to be happy about. And yet, we're more dissatisfied than ever. In The Power of Meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith argues that we've been chasing the wrong thing. It's not happiness that makes life worth living--it's meaning. Drawing on the latest cognitive science research, as well as insights from literature and philosophy and her own prodigious reporting, Smith shows that by developing a "meaning mindset," we can all achieve a deeper satisfaction. With a warm, assured voice that moves effortlessly from George Eliot and Aristotle to Monty Python and Louis C.K., Smith spells out the four pillars of the meaning mindset: cultivating connections to others, working toward our life's purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and finding transcendence. And she shows us how we can lean on the pillars in difficult times, and how we might begin to build a culture of meaning in our families, our workplaces, and our communities. Stirring, inspiring, and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking more in life.
Author: Emily Esfahani Smith
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2017-01-12
'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 over a million 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.
Author: Jim Loehr
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2008-10-07
Genre: Business & Economics
Outlines a strategy for personal success that explains how readers can adjust the telling of their life stories to promote goals and change how they are seen by others. By the author of The Power of Full Engagement. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.
Author: W. Barnett Pearce
Publisher: SIU Press
Release Date: 1989
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Starting with the premise that we live in communication (rather than standing outside communication and using it for secondary purposes), Pearce claims that people who live in various cultures and historical epochs not only communicate differently but experience different ways of being human because they communicate differently. This century, he notes, ushered in the "communication revolution," the discovery that communication is far more important and central to the human condition than ever before realized. Essential to the communication revolution is the recognition that multiple forms of discourse exist in contemporary human society. Further, these forms of discourse are not benign; they comprise alternative ways of being human. Thus communication theory must encompass all that it "means to live a life, the shape of social institutions and cultural traditions, the pragmatics of social action, and the poetics of social order."
Author: Emily Esfahani Smith
Release Date: 2010
After a meeting with Pope Pius IX, Oscar Wilde locked himself in his room emerging only after writing a sonnet inspired by and dedicated to the Pope. Hours later, he visited the protestant cemetery where the Romantic poet, John Keats, was buried. Kneeling at his grave, Wilde ostentatiously declared it to be "the holiest place in Rome." Did Oscar Wilde contradict himself? Did he contain multitudes? He did, to understate the matter --- and those complexities were best expressed in his great theatrical works like Lady Windermere's Fan, Salome, and, of course, The Importance of Being Earnest.Setting the playwright in context to his personal life, social, historical and political events, other writers of influence, and more, you will quickly gain a deep understanding of Wilde and the plays he wrote. Read Wilde in an Hour and experience his plays like never before. Know the playwright, love the play!The book features:- Wilde in an Hour, the main essay of the book- Wilde In a Minute, a snapshot chronology- A complete listing of Wilde¿s work- A list of Wilde¿s contemporaries in all fields- Excerpts from Wilde¿s significant works- An extensive bibliography grouped according to type of reader- An index of the main essay.Playwrights in an Hour is a series devoted to the most produced and studied playwrights in the English language, from the Greek masters to contemporary writers, and written by leading authorities in the field. Each short book places the playwright and his or her work in historical, social, and literary context.Emily Esfahani Smith, a graduate of Dartmouth College, is a journalist and writer in Washington, D.C. Her work on cultural, political, and international affairs has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, National Review, The American Spectator, and the New Criterion.
Author: Manuel J. Smith
Release Date: 2011-01-12
The best-seller that helps you say: "I just said 'no' and I don't feel guilty!" Are you letting your kids get away with murder? Are you allowing your mother-in-law to impose her will on you? Are you embarrassed by praise or crushed by criticism? Are you having trouble coping with people? Learn the answers in When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, the best-seller with revolutionary new techniques for getting your own way. From the Paperback edition.
In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus, author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles, pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves. McManus demonstrates that we all carry within us the essence of an artist. We all need to create, to be a part of a process that brings to the world something beautiful, good, and true, in order to allow our souls to come to life. It's not only the quality of the ingredients we use to build our lives that matter, but the care we bring to the process itself. Just like baking artisan bread, it's a process that's crafted over time. And God has something to say about how we craft our lives. With poignant, inspirational stories and insights from art, life, history, and scripture interspersed throughout, McManus walks readers through the process of crafting a life of beauty and wonder.
Author: Iddo Landau
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-07-01
Does life have meaning? Is it possible for life to be meaningful when the world is filled with suffering and when so much depends merely upon chance? Even if there is meaning, is there enough to justify living? These questions are difficult to resolve. There are times in which we face the mundane, the illogically cruel, and the tragic, which leave us to question the value of our lives. However, Iddo Landau argues, our lives often are, or could be made, meaningfulwe've just been setting the bar too high for evaluating what meaning there is. When it comes to meaning in life, Landau explains, we have let perfect become the enemy of the good. We have failed to find life perfectly meaningful, and therefore have failed to see any meaning in our lives. We must attune ourselves to enhancing and appreciating the meaning in our lives, and Landau shows us how to do that. In this warmly written book, rich with examples from the author's life, film, literature, and history, Landau offers new theories and practical advice that awaken us to the meaning already present in our lives and demonstrates how we can enhance it. He confronts prevailing nihilist ideas that undermine our existence, and the questions that dog us no matter what we believe. While exposing the weaknesses of ideas that lead many to despair, he builds a strong case for maintaining more hope. Along the way, he faces provocative questions: Would we choose to live forever if we could? Does death render life meaningless? If we examine it in the context of the immensity of the whole universe, can we consider life meaningful? If we feel empty once we achieve our goals, and the pursuit of these goals is what gives us a sense of meaning, then what can we do? Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World is likely to alter the way you understand your life.
The creator of the viral hit "Empathy Cards" teams up with a compassion expert to produce a visually stunning and groundbreaking illustrated guide to help you increase your emotional intelligence and learn how to offer comfort and support when someone you know is in pain. When someone you know is hurting, you want to let her know that you care. But many people don’t know what words to use—or are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. This thoughtful, instructive guide, from empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe and greeting card maverick Emily McDowell, blends well-researched, actionable advice with the no-nonsense humor and the signature illustration style of McDowell's immensely popular Empathy Cards, to help you feel confident in connecting with anyone experiencing grief, loss, illness, or any other difficult situation. Written in a how-to, relatable, we’ve-all-been-that-deer-in-the-headlights kind of way, There Is No Good Card for This isn’t a spiritual treatise on how to make you a better person or a scientific argument about why compassion matters. It is a helpful illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear. There Is No Good Card for This features workbook exercises, sample dialogs, and real-life examples from Dr. Crowe’s research, including her popular "Empathy Bootcamps" that give people tools for building relationships when it really counts. Whether it’s a coworker whose mother has died, a neighbor whose husband has been in a car accident, or a friend who is seriously ill, There Is No Good Card for This teaches you how to be the best friend you can be to someone in need.
Author: Christopher L. Kukk
Release Date: 2017-03-07
A powerful, practical guide for cultivating compassion—the scientifically proven foundation for personal achievement and success at work, at home, and in the community. For decades, we’ve been told the key to prosperity is to look out for number one. But recent science shows that to achieve durable success, we need to be more than just achievers; we need to be compassionate achievers. New research in biology, neuroscience, and economics have found that compassion—recognizing a problem or caring about another’s pain and making a commitment to help—not only improves others’ lives; it can transform our own. Based on the most recent studies from a wide range of fields, The Compassionate Achiever reveals the profound benefits of practicing compassion including more constructive relationships, improved intelligence, and increased resiliency. To help us achieve these benefits, Christopher L. Kukk, the founding Director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, shares his unique 4-step program for cultivating compassion. Kukk makes clear that practicing compassion isn’t about being a martyr or a paragon of virtue; it’s about rejecting rage and indifference and choosing instead to be a thoughtful, caring problem-solver. He identifies the skills every compassionate achiever should master—listening, understanding, connecting, and acting—and outlines how to develop each, with clear explanations, easy-to-implement strategies, actionable exercises, and real-world examples. With the The Compassionate Achiever everyone wins—we can each achieve success in our own lives and create more productive workplaces, and healthier, less violent communities.
Author: Eric Langshur
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-05-02
Genre: Business & Economics
"This revolutionary work outlines the first and only cross-training system for mastering the skill of happiness. Think P90x for the soul. Every day we have a choice: embrace happiness or let it pass us by. But nurturing happiness isn't easy. It takes understanding, guidance, and training. It takes skill to let go of day-to-day stress and inspire our most inner optimist. It takes LIFE XT. In collaboration with some of the world's leading researchers, Eric Langshur and Nate Klemp have created a comprehensive, nine-step training program to help anyone master the skill of happiness (LIFE XT). Teaching core skills such as mindfulness, physical fitness, and compassion will break a lifetime of habits that keep you distracted, overwhelmed, and addicted to unhealthy behaviors. With Start Here, you will: -Feel less stressed and more focused. -Experience a slower resting heart rate within just twenty minutes. -Sleep better and feel refreshed. Based on scientific research, Start Here provides the most efficient pathway to happiness and a greater sense of overall well-being"--
In Craft a Life You Love, readers will learn how to focus their creative energy and make things (and make things happen) by implementing small—yet powerful— changes in their everyday lives. In this memoir and hardworking handbook, creativity and craft maven Amy Tangerine, shows readers how to find their flow, maintain a positive mindset, and cultivate a rich and fulfilling life by focusing on what truly matters. Chapters explore how to craft the soul, craft the right mindset, craft the right environment, craft good habits, rediscover your creative mojo, and maintain momentum, with each section offering exercises for taking your creative practice to the next level. For anyone who has felt disconnected from their creativity or has had trouble saving a space for their passions, Craft a Life You Love will teach you how to make time for creativity each and every day.
Author: Daniel H. Pink
Release Date: 2011-04-05
Genre: Business & Economics
Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It's wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today's world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it's precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today's challenges. In Drive, he reveals the three elements of true motivation: *Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives *Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters *Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward. Drive is bursting with big ideas—the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.
We all know the story of Thanksgiving. Or do we? This uniquely American holiday has a rich and little known history beyond the famous feast of 1621. In Thanksgiving, award-winning author Melanie Kirkpatrick journeys through four centuries of history, giving us a vivid portrait of our nation's best-loved holiday. Drawing on newspaper accounts, private correspondence, historical documents, and cookbooks, Thanksgiving brings to life the full history of the holiday and what it has meant to generations of Americans. Many famous figures walk these pages—Washington, who proclaimed our first Thanksgiving as a nation amid controversy about his Constitutional power to do so; Lincoln, who wanted to heal a divided nation sick of war when he called for all Americans—North and South—to mark a Thanksgiving Day; FDR, who set off a debate on state's rights when he changed the traditional date of Thanksgiving. Ordinary Americans also play key roles in the Thanksgiving story—the New England Indians who boycott Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning; Sarah Josepha Hale, the nineteenth-century editor and feminist who successfully campaigned for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday; the 92nd Street Y in New York City, which founded Giving Tuesday, an online charity established in the long tradition of Thanksgiving generosity. Kirkpatrick also examines the history of Thanksgiving football and, of course, Thanksgiving dinner. While the rites and rituals of the holiday have evolved over the centuries, its essence remains the same: family and friends feasting together in a spirit of gratitude to God, neighborliness, and hospitality. Thanksgiving is Americans' oldest tradition. Kirkpatrick's enlightening exploration offers a fascinating look at the meaning of the holiday that we gather together to celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November. With Readings for Thanksgiving Day designed to be read aloud around the table.