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Why Worry? Find Meaning!

Happiness is for takers. Meaning is for givers. Guess who feels better?

illustration of women giving buttons

Button Lady by Lee White

Something interesting has been happening in recent years. Meaning has regained a foothold in our universities, and especially in an unexpected place—the sciences. Many of the “meaning” researchers are working in a field called positive psychology—a discipline that grounds its fin …

Emily Esfahani Smith has written about psychology and culture for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. A columnist for The New Criterion, she is also an editor at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, which builds meaning in local communities. She graduated from Dartmouth and earned a master’s in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Adapted from The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters. Copyright © 2017 by Emily Esfahani Smith. Published by Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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