How to Find Meaning

My conversation with Emily Esfahani Smith

Emily Esfahani Smith
“Living a meaningful life is all about connecting and contributing to something bigger than you are.”
— Emily Esfahani Smith

Emily Esfahani Smith is author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters. She writes about psychology, culture, and relationships, in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, and other publications. Esfahani Smith has researched the essence of what brings meaning into our lives in our lives. Her viral article “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy,” published in The Atlantic in 2013, drew the important distinction between meaning and happiness.

In this episode, Stew and Emily take listeners through the “four pillars of meaning to life” from Emily’s research: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. You will learn both what each of these pillars entails as well as steps you can take to strengthen them in your own life. An overarching theme of the conversation is that meaning comes from thinking about our actions and choices in broader contexts, beyond ourselves.

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