ON LIVING A MEANINGFUL LIFE
Meaning is Healthier than Happiness (2013), Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic. An essay exploring the obsession in the U.S. with the pursuit of happiness vs. meaning.
The Meanings of Life (2013) Roy F. Baumeister, Aeon. Article by a psychologist who conducted a research study on the difference between happiness and meaningfulness.
The Moral Bucket List (2015), David Brooks - The New York Times. A curated list of “the experiences one should have on the way toward the richest possible inner life”.
4 Ways to Bring More Meaning into your Life (2016). Eric Barker - The Week. Overview of Emily Esfahani Smith’s four pillars to a craft meaningful life: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence.
How to Find Your Purpose in Life (2018) Jeremy Adam Smith - Greater Good Magazine. An overview of six things you can do to explore your purposes in life.
Man’s Search for Meaning (1946), Victor Frankl. A Holocaust survivor documents his own path to purpose through Auschwitz. The most foundational book on purpose development in 20th century western world.
Power of Purpose (2015), Richard Leider. World-class business coach and professor at University of Minnesota on foundational qualities of developing a purposeful life.
Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (2012), Jonathan Glover. Oxford philosopher explores the great brutality of the 20th century + the moral and psychological underpinnings of modernity.
Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (2017). Mary Oliver. A selection of Oliver's most beloved poems from the last 50 years, exploring her encounters with the natural world and her quest for a meaningful life.
The Prophet (1923), Kahlil Gibran. A collection of poetic essays on topics including love, giving, work, joy, freedom, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, time, beauty, death.
PODCASTS: developing meaning + wisdom
On Being with Krista Tippett: A podcast from On Being Studios “taking up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers”.
Becoming Wise - The Podcast: Another podcast from On Being Studios exploring “the mystery and art of living” through the eyes of wise people of our time.
The Greater Good Podcast. UC Berkeley’s podcast showcasing interviews with top researchers and thinkers discussing the science of a meaningful life.
podcasts: Cultivating Empathy
StoryCorps: Conversations between people from across the US intended to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world”.
Strangers: From the creator of The Moth, this podcast describes itself as an “empathy shot in your arm”, exploring true stories about people we encounter and the connections we make.
The Listening Project: Inspired by the US’ StoryCorps, these conversations are between people living in the UK.
Aeon. Digital magazine with essays written by experts in philosophy, science and culture. Wealth of articles addressing questions around meaningfulness and purpose.
Greater Good Magazine: UC Berkeley’s online publication exploring “science-based insights for a meaningful life”.
Brain Pickings. A website curated and written by Maria Popova (writer for Wired, The Atlantic and The New York Times) on topics spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.
FILM + ART
Baraka (1992), Ron Fricke. Feature length film shot in 25 countries on 6 continents, described by the director as “a guided meditation on humanity”.
Life in a Day (2011), Kevin Macdonald. A documentary shot by film-makers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24 July, 2010.
Thoughts in Passing (2016), Claudia Biçen (Project Wayfinder’s Creative Director). Series of pencil portraits and audio interviews with hospice patients in Northern California exploring their regrets, lessons and what gave their life meaning.
The Portals Project, Shared Studios. “Portals” are physical spaces where participants are able to come face-to-face with someone in a distant “Portal” live and full-body, as if in the same room. These Portals are free to visit in >20 countries around the world.