It is said that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and this podcast is no different. While I have been researching happiness for over 10 years, I only recently got excited about the role that meaning has in our lives about a year ago, and as I mention in my introductory episode “Happiness, Meaning, or Both?” there are two sources that really got me going.
The first is this podcast with Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, and Peter Diamandis on the Magic of Thinking Big. In this podcast, Tony starts talking about how we don’t want happiness, we want meaning. That really got me thinking.
The second is this article called “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy.” By that time, I had read Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning” but this article just shed a whole new light on that book by comparing happiness and meaning.
But don’t get me wrong – happiness is great too. Of the dozens I’ve read, here are a couple favorites that stand out over time:
- The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
- Flow the Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman
- The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky
- The Practice of Happiness by John Kehoe
What I love about these books is how many different approaches you can take, from John Kehoe who takes a “just do it” approach the timeless wisdom of the Dalai Lama to the evidence based testing approach that physchologists Sonja Lyubormirsky, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Martin Seligman employ.
Finally, if you like to learn by watching, here is a great TED talk playlist on happiness.
What’s interesting is that is seems like for every 100 books on happiness, I only find one on meaning. If you have a good book recommendation on living a meaningful life, please comment on this post with your favorite.
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