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The importance of meaning for flourishing with Emily Esfahani-Smith.

#meaning #purpose #flourishing

  • 00:38 The distinction between meaning and happiness

  • 01:21 The four pillars of meaning: belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling

  • 01:55 The role of meaning in human flourishing

  • 03:44 Emily's background and influences

  • 09:49 The importance of literature and philosophy in finding meaning

  • 13:06 The subjectivity of meaning and the relationship between meaning and happiness

  • 35:36 Cultivating a meaning mindset through storytelling and perspective

  • 40:06 The role of spirituality and religiosity in cultivating meaning

  • 41:07 The need for education to focus on meaning and purpose

  • 45:35 Emily's upcoming book on the success culture and its impact on meaning

  • 46:59 Action step: Journaling and reflecting on life experiences

  • 49:07 Action step: Creating moments of stillness and silence

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Episode 2 GPT

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Meet Emily Esfahani-Smith

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Emily Esfahani Smith is a writer in Washington DC. In her writing, she draws on psychology, philosophy, and literature to write about the human experience — why we are the way we are and how we can find grace and meaning in a world that is full of suffering.


Her book The Power of Meaning, an international bestseller, was published by Crown and has been translated into 16 different languages. The Wall Street Journal called the book “persuasive,” “elegant,” and “valuable” while the Prospect (UK) dubbed it “an intelligent page-turner.”


She is also an international speaker who has delivered dozens of keynote addresses and workshops at corporations, conferences, non-profit organizations, libraries, universities, and high schools around the country and world. In 2017, Smith delivered a talk called “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy” on the main stage of TED, which was based on her book. It’s been viewed over 9 million times.

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