Emily Esfahani Smith: “The Power of Meaning”

Posted on Nov 26 by SEASONS Magazine


Emily Esfahani Smith photographed by Jonathan Durling. Photo courtesy of UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Emily Esfahani Smith, photo by Jonathan Durling, courtesy of UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents author and TED Talk favorite Emily Esfahani Smith’s free public lecture called The Power of Meaning: Making Your Life, Work and Relationships Matter on Thursday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall. A very limited quantity of her book, The Power of Meaning, will be given away through the Thematic Learning Initiative and books will also be available for purchase and signing throughout the event. 

“The search for meaning just got a little easier, and a little more fun,” says Darrin M. McMahon, author of Happiness: A History.

Esfahani Smith firmly believes that there is more to life than searching for happiness. She is a respected positive psychology instructor and an editor at Stanford University Hoover Institution, Smith shows that pursuing meaning in life is ultimately more fulfilling than chasing happiness. She draws upon psychology, philosophy and literature to lead a richer life.

She writes about the human experience. She questions why we as humans are the way we are and how we can find grace and meaning in a world fraught with suffering. Her articles, “There’s More to Life than Being Happy” and “Masters of Love,” were originally published in The Atlantic, and have been read more than 30 million times. Her writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time and other publications.

“Beautifully written and rigorously researched, The Power of Meaning speaks to the yearning we all share for a life of depth and significance… This warm and wise book leads us down the path to what truly matters,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet.

As an editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Smith manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, a collaboration with the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University to build meaning in local communities.

She was born in Zurich, Switzerland and grew up in Montreal, Canada. She graduated from Dartmouth College and earned a master of applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit artsandlectures.ucsb.edu or call 805/893-3535.

—Lauren Bennett


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