Is Meaning The Path To Happiness?

Can You Unlock The Power of Meaning?

Podcast with Emily Esfahani Smith

DELIVERED BY The Wellbeing Lab

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

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:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week.  If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of this post.  

Also, please leave an honest review for the Making Positive Psychology Work Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

You can also listen to all the episodes of Making Positive Psychology Work streamed directly to your smartphone or iPad through stitcher. No need for downloading or syncing.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates. It’s free!

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

Quick tip:You can save this post to your favorites, so you can access it quickly and easily later! Just click the “Add to Favorites” button to save it forever. You can then find it later in My Toolbox -> My Favorites.

Free Leadership Toolkit

Supercharge safety, wellbeing, and performance for your team.

Download now

Free Leaders Survey Tool

Take our free five minute survey to minimize psychosocial risks and build on psychological safety

Learn More

Wellbeing Survey For Youth

Our free PERMAH Wellbeing Survey Tool For Youth is now available.

Learn More

Wellbeing Survey For Kids

Our FREE PERMAH Survey tool for Kids under 12 is now available.

Learn More


Listen to the world’s leading positive psychology researchers and practitioners as they share their insights on our top-rated podcast.

Listen Now


Do you want to help boost people’s wellbeing, resilience & performance? Then join us for the next round of Certificate In Creating Wellbeing.

Learn More