In recent years, there’s been a lot of books and blogs put out on how to become happier. But what if searching for happiness actually results in unhappiness, and to get happiness we need to be looking for something else?
That’s what my guest argues in her book. Her name is Emily Esfahani Smith and she’s the author of The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness.
We begin our discussion talking about the difference between happiness and meaning and why the latter brings more fulfillment. Emily then highlights research that shows more and more Westerners are reporting that their life lacks meaning and the theories as to why that is. She then breaks down what the three pillars of a meaningful life are and what we can do to experience them. Emily and I then discuss whether it’s really possible to create meaning by yourself and whether or not it requires being embedded in a religious or spiritual tradition.
- How Emily started exploring the science of meaning
- Can you find meaning outside of religion? How?
- The difference between happiness and meaning
- What does it even mean to be happy?
- The three conditions of a satisfying life
- Could you live a meaningful life and ultimately not be very happy?
- Why are more and more people saying their life doesn’t feel meaningful?
- Is this problem worldwide?
- The loneliness problem and rising individualism in society
- Can real connections be made via social media?
- Why a meaningful life takes effort
- What does it mean to have a purpose in life?
- How and where most people will find purpose in life
- What role does storytelling play in living a meaningful life?
- Are we deluding ourselves by spinning our stories in a positive light?
- What is transcendence? How do we experience more of it?
- How can you experience the divine in non-religious settings?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being
- Hardwiring for Happiness
- How to Find Your Life’s Purpose
- Man’s Chief Purpose
- Meanings of Life by Roy Baumeister
- How Face-to-Face Contact Makes You Healthier, Happier, and Smarter
- Building Your Band of Brothers
- 5 Ancient Stoic Tactics for Modern Life
- Erik Erikson
- The Power of Wonder
- The Forgotten Virtue of Reverence
- My podcasts with Jordan Peterson: 1st episode and 2nd episode
- The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
Connect With Emily
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
Recorded with ClearCast.io.
Read the Transcript
(via The Art of Manliness)