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Episode Info: Emily Esfahani Smith is author of “The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters.” Emily has explored the essence of what brings meaning into our lives. She melds perspectives from a variety of sources -- contemporary psychologists, ancient philosophers, historical figures, and others -- to show the value of what she calls the “four pillars of meaning,” each of which she and Stew discuss in this episode. For more information about this and previous episodes, check out the blog post on this episode at http://www.workandlifepodcast.com/blog/ees , where you can find show notes, links to resources discussed in the conversation, and the roster of Stew’s guests you can look forward to hearing soon. Show Notes (times when new topics start) 5:50. Meaning and happiness. Finding meaning in life is not about finding happiness. 8:15. Belonging. One pillar of meaning is the feeling of being connected to others. 11:55. Purpose. The second pillar is having a sense of purpose for one’s life, which need not necessarily be a grand enterprise but can be simply gaining respect in your profession or helping your family function. 16:50. Storytelling. We tell stories about key episodes in our lives to create a deeper understanding of our identities and thereby enhance meaning. 21:35. Transcendance. Feeling ego-less and connected to the infinite is the fourth pillar of meaning, and it can be experienced in nature, religion, and in other ways.Read more »

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