There’s more to life than being happy
Seeking meaning can be more life-fulfilling than just seeking happiness—in this TED Talk, the speaker describes the four pillars that she argues you need for a fulfilling life.
In this TED Talk, journalist and author Emily Esfahani Smith discusses the motivation behind her book The Power of Meaning. She argues the search for meaning is more fulfilling than the pursuit of happiness. While Smith was doing a post-graduate study in positive psychology, she realised that the data showed that chasing happiness can make people unhappy. And despite life getting objectively better by nearly every conceivable standard, more people feel hopeless, depressed and alone. According to Smith's research, what predicts this despair is not a lack of happiness; it's a lack of meaning in life. She believes there are four pillars of a meaningful life:
Smith expands on those four pillars in her talk. She argues that happiness comes and goes, but having meaning gives you something to hold on to when things in your life go wrong.
Transcript available here.