The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith
Crafting a Life That Matters

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



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.

About Emily Esfahani Smith

See more books from this Author
Published January 10, 2017 by Broadway Books. 278 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Power of Meaning

The Daily Caller

Smith in rich prose details these twin declines of religion in modern intellectual life and in the academy, and the corresponding depreciation of the construct of meaning, but highlights small pockets in the academy where the study of what makes life worth living survives.

May 11 2017 | Read Full Review of The Power of Meaning: Craftin...

See more reviews from this publication

Journalist Smith, who has an M.A. in applied positive psychology, issues an enlightening guide to discovering meaning in one’s life. She states that despite a culturally ingrained appreciation for the

Nov 04 2016 | Read Full Review of The Power of Meaning: Craftin...

... The Power of Meaning Crafting a Life That Matters By Emily Esfahani Smith Crown Publishing. I was bleary-eyed, wrestling to complete a ...

Jan 18 2017 | Read Full Review of The Power of Meaning: Craftin...

Reader Rating for The Power of Meaning

An aggregated and normalized score based on 112 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review