Making Positive Psychology Work Podcast

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Podcast with Emily Esfahani Smith

Emily Esfahani Smith on Can You Unlock The Power of Meaning?

Today’s Guest:

Emily Esfahani Smith is a graduate of Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she now serves as an instructor.  Emily draws on psychology, philosophy, and literature to research and writes about the human experience.  She is the author of the best-selling book, The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters.  

Research shows that people who value happiness in the way our culture encourages us to do are left feeling empty and unhappy. What brings true happiness and satisfaction is meaning.  We all want to know that our lives matter.  In this conversation, you will hear Emily share the four pillars of meaning and the small, practical ways you can find meaning in your work no matter what your job description or your boss says. 

Connect with Emily Esfahani Smith:

Website –

Twitter – @EmEsfahaniSmith

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You’ll Learn:

  • [01:44] – Emily explains why meaning matters when looking at wellbeing.  
  • [03:41] – Emily shares what her research shows might make life more meaningful.
  • [06:35] – While people are reporting their sense of loneliness is escalating, Emily provides some examples of how we can increase our sense of belonging at work.
  • [09:16] – Emily says that if we don’t feel a sense of belonging, it may be up to us to reach out and connect with others and explains how we can do this at work.
  • [10:03] – Emily puts “purpose” into context and shares how we can find purpose in our jobs.
  • [12:45] – Emily explains how storytelling provides a path to meaning.
  • [15:30] – Emily discusses Laura King’s exercise with our lost selves and how that might help us with storytelling.
  • [17:50] – Emily talks about The Moth and how it creates an environment for storytelling.
  • [18:56] – When looking at transcendence, Emily shares why aura is important to our sense of meaning.
  • [20:53] – The Lightning Round with Emily Esfahani Smith.

Your Resources:

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Special thanks to Emily for joining me this week. Until next time, take care!

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