Happiness isn’t the only kind of fulfillment that we are yearning for these days. As many of us live ever-more isolated from family and neighbors, no longer deeply connected to religion, what we long for is a sense of meaning and community.
Journalist Emily Esfahani Smith is the author of the new book The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters, which explores the difference between a deep sense of meaning and a momentary sense of happiness. Ultimately, Smith arrived at four pillars of living a meaningful life: belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling.
But Smith’s curiosity about the good life began even earlier, with her experiences growing up in a Sufi community. As you might expect, her book tries to combine ancient wisdom and modern scientific research. I talked with Smith about how the two intersect, and how the surprising and cutting-edge findings she came across can help us live more meaningful lives.
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