Emily Esfahani Smith, 'There is more to Life than being Happy' (Ted Talk 2017)
Viktor E Frankl, 'Man's Search for Meaning', Random House
For those of you unfamiliar with Ted Talks they are a series of video's given by expert speakers on a variety of subjects from science to business to global issues in more than 110 languages. TED started in 1984 and can be viewed on You tube or on their own web page each talk lasting between 10 and 30 minutes and I would recommend them to anyone.
Recently I watched a talk entitled "There is more to life than being Happy" given by Emily Esfahani which can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2xr61hA
Emily identifies the rising tide of despair in modern life which she attributes not to a lack of happiness but to a lack of meaning. She then goes onto identify four pillars of a meaningful life, which are:
The first three are fairly self explanatory the fourth refers to creating a narrative from the events of your life to help you understand how you became you. Emily goes on to give examples of how these four pillars can help individuals gain meaning in their lives and I would recommend you listen to the entire talk when you can.
Emily's talk reminded me of a book I recently read by the Psychiatrist Viktor E Frankl entitled "Man's Search for Meaning". Dr Frankl, who died in 1997, was a holocaust survivor who used his experiences to start his own school of psychotherapy which he called "Logotherapy". Logotherapy is a form of existential analysis based partly on Viktor's experiences in the camps and partly on Kierkegaard's "Will to meaning". As you have probably guessed it has a lot in common with Emily Esfahani's four pillars for a meaningful life.
I wont say any more about Logotherapy, you can read Viktor's book for that, although how anyone managed to find meaning in life living in Auschwitz is still beyond me, but one quote, this time from Nietzsche who ironically was Hitler's favourite philosopher, really struck home for me.
"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."
A thought to remember when treading those long Dark nights of the Soul.
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