A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence

A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence

by Frank Martela PhD
A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence

A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence

by Frank Martela PhD


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In a series of essays that explore the notion of what brings significance to our existences, clarifying why we have this longing beyond the present moment and an insatiable dissatisfaction with where we are, scholar Frank Martela tackles the subject of finding meaning in life.

With beautiful decorative elements and an engaging design, the book approaches its subject in a readily digestible form. It grapples with some of life’s most pressing questions, like "Is happiness a worthy goal?" and "What is the foundation for meaning in a secular society?" and "Is life an existential void?" yet Martela answers these questions and more in a relaxed, conversational tone and with a wry sense of humor, placing some of life’s greatest philosophical concerns and quandaries into a modern-day context.

Martela quickly and concisely gets to the heart of the matter: your place in the world and how to find meaning in life as countless thinkers and philosophers have done before, yet the emphasis here is on what we do with the life we have and how we can make it more meaningful. Part prescriptive and part armchair philosophy book, A Wonderful Life is accessible to everyone, from the well-read scholar to the apprentice as well as anyone curious about how to extract the greatest meaning and sense of purpose from their existence.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062942777
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/24/2020
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 1,130,716
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Frank Martela, PhD, is a philosopher and researcher of psychology specializing in the question of meaning in life. His articles have appeared in Scientific American Mind and Salon and his work has been featured on Quartz and on the BBC. His research has been published extensively in numerous academic journals such as Journal of Personality, Journal of Positive Psychology, Journal of Happiness Studies, Metaphilosophy, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Motivation & Emotion, and Organization Studies. He has spoken to more than one hundred audiences worldwide, including invited lectures in universities on four continents, including Stanford University and Harvard University. He’s been interviewed by the New York Times, Fitness, Vice News, and Monocle Observer among others. He is based at Aalto University in Helsinki. frankmartela.com; Twitter: @f_Martela

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

Part 1 Why Humans Seek Meaning 14

1 Rise Above Life's Absurdity' 16

2 You're Cosmically Insignificant, Impermanent, and Arbitrary-and That's Okay 22

3 Happiness Is a Poor Life Goal 30

4 Your Life Is Already Meaningful 45

Part 2 The Question of Meaning: A New Perspective 56

5 Your Existential Crisis Makes You Modern 58

6 A Romantic Notion 73

7 There Is Meaning in Life with or without the Meaning of Life 88

8 Building a Personal Value System 102

Part 3 Paths to a More Meaningful Life 114

9 Invest in Your Relationships 116

10 Help Others, Help Yourself 129

11 Become Who You Are 140

12 Master Your Potential 153

Epilogue 168

Acknowledgments 175

Notes 179

Bibliography 195

Recommended Reading 197

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