Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Power of Meaning

We often sometimes ask about the meaning of life. So I was curious to review this book by Emily Smith called The Power of Meaning.

I like the first chapter of the book because it talks about history and philosophy and equating those two things to not just happiness or having money or having Comforts but that of the meaning of life and the mental health of a person. Before going in crafting a life that has meaning we have to understand that the words that meaning of life isn't just about money,  is a real conversation that needs to be had and something that really doesn't give you. It is not just a cliche saying.

I thought this book was great and not your average self help book because there is a lot that goes into it and is shown to you. The research, the stories, all that is shown to you. It makes you feel like you are going on the research journey and you are able to learn more through learning to be able to help yourself.

The contents/chapters include:
The meaning Crisis
Story telling
Cultures of Meaning

So you can see that there is a lot you can learn from this book. And not in a way that forces you to always look inward and analyze yourself but it a more practical way for those that like the facts and the straight forward research to back up claims that want you to look inward. So in other words, you get the ideas about self reflection and moving forward through reading the research and

The author, in the introduction, gives you a little background info what that looks like for them. She grew up in a home that contained Sufism which is the school of mysticism within Islam. Her family belonged to the Nimatullahi Sufi Order. She goes on to describe what that looked like in her family. How many people would come to sleep on the floor, many adults trying to compete for the same bathroom and they all did so willingly to be able to meditate often and try to find that meaning of life.

We often in our own lives, don't take the time we need to meditate because we are constantly on the go. We don't pause to evaluate where we are. This is what drew me in with this book. I, even, need this time.

For those that are motivated by books that are not Hokey Pokey (and don't get them all turned around, pun intended) this is a good book for you.

Emily Smith does a great job of backing up what she's saying not just by good letter and good references but by actual events that have happened that shine light what she's tried to make a point in. In other words she lets the stories, the research and the facts speak for themselves in a seamless way!

Book Description:
This wise, stirring book argues that the search for meaning can immeasurably deepen our lives and is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.

There is a myth in our culture that the search for meaning is some esoteric pursuit that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to figure out life s great secret. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us right here, right now. Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology; on insights from George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, the Buddha, and other great minds; and on interviews with seekers of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith lays out the four pillars upon which meaning rests.
Belonging We all need to find our tribe and forge relationships in which we feel understood, recognized, and valued to know we matter to others.

Purpose We all need a far-reaching goal that motivates us, serves as the organizing principle of our lives, and drives us to make a contribution to the world.

Storytelling We are all storytellers, taking our disparate experiences and assembling them into a coherent narrative that allows us to make sense of ourselves and the world.

Transcendence During a transcendent or mystical experience, we feel we have risen above the everyday world and are connected to something vast and meaningful.

To bring those concepts to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village on the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of untimely loss, and more. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture of meaning in our schools, our workplaces, and our communities.

Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a richer, more satisfying life."

I give this book ☀☀☀☀☀ out of five. 

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