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Search for meaning more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness

Health Industry Hub | November 27, 2020 |
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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.

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