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The Power of Meaning * Crafting a Life That Matters

by Emily Esfahani Smith (2017 – Crown Publishing Group)

At Retirement Wisdom, we’re big on of purpose. In fact, studies have found that your longevity may even depend on it.

Yet, purpose is one of those subjects that I sometimes find hard to get my arms around. I wonder about how someone discovers their purpose – particularly when they transition from their primary career to their next chapter. I always feel like it requires a lengthy trip to mountains and extensive navel-gazing. That will need to wait for another day. Someday. Maybe.

It turns out that the mountains are optional. Emily Esfahani Smith uses an entertaining mix of wisdom from philosophers, research and stories to break this topic down. She draws useful distinctions between the related topics of purpose, happiness and meaning and illustrates the connection between purpose and identity.

She outlines the four pillars of a life of meaning – belonging, purpose story-telling and transcending beyond yourself. I found Esfahani Smith’s writing on the story-telling pillar, in particular, to be especially valuable. She describes the powerful role that narrative can play in rediscovering purpose. Approaching retirement, how you envision and craft the story of your next chapters can make all the difference.

Retirement is a major life transition and rediscovering your purpose is an important part of successfully navigating it. I highly recommend this book as an excellent way to begin exploring your purpose. It contains a wealth of practical knowledge and insights that can aid your journey.

 

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