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MISS002: The Power of Meaning with Emily Esfahani Smith



Have you ever had one of those days when you wonder what you’re doing with your life? Especially on those bad days at work or in your business….when you think “aaaaah why am I doing this? What is the point?” And you think (or say out loud) “in 10 years when I look back, am I going to feel I’ve made a difference in the world?”

I hear this a lot. From a lot of people. And yes, plenty of times these have been my own exact words.

If this sounds familiar, then I think you will really connect with this conversation I have with Emily Esfahani Smith.

Emily is a thought leader and the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters (Crown). She writes about psychology, culture, and relationships. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New York Times, The Atlantic, and other publications.

I actually came across Emily’s book in a leadership blog, where it was noted as one of the top leadership books to read in 2017. And I must say that from the title, I was rather curious, because it didn’t exactly sound like your typical leadership book.

But it drew my attention, as I have embarked on a series of significant career changing moves over the past 5 years. And I think I’ve recognized that my motivation for change has come from a desire to feel greater meaning and purpose in my own life, and also from the work I do as a leader in organisation’s and in my business.

In future I will share conservations I have with a variety of women in business and leadership, however this one felt a little different for me because it really connected me strongly with ‘my why’. My why for establishing Miss Independent and this podcast. So I feel excited to share it with you first.

I hope it also helps you find a connection to your own why and a stronger sense of meaning in your own life.

In this episode of Miss Independent I talked with Emily about:

  • Her upbringing in Montreal, Canada and how this influenced her focus on ‘meaning’ and the work she now does.

  • The broad research that went into writing her book.

  • How and why society is taking a cultural mood shift toward the pursuit of meaning.

  • How an emphasis on meaning is happening across many different levels of society including schools, healthcare, business, brands, employees and consumers.

  • How her motivation to research and find the building blocks to living a meaning life, unveiled 4 pillars of meaning – Belonging, Purpose, Storytelling, and Transcendence.

  • How we can all adopt a greater meaning mindset in the work that we do.

  • How organisation’s can improve engagement with their employees by helping them have greater understanding of their personal impact and purpose at work.

  • What triggers or prompts some people to have a meaning crisis in life.

References and contact details for Emily:

Website www.emilyesfahanismith.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/EmEsfahaniSmith
Facebook www.facebook.com/authoremilyesfahanismith/

Links to listen to the podcast:

iTunes here Stitcher TBA

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of this post.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

And finally, please leave an honest review for Miss Independent on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. They do matter in the rankings of the podcast, and I read them all.




Natalie Hughes founded Miss Independent in 2017, to educate and mentor women and help them make their best career and business decisions. Natalie is an experienced business woman and non-executive company director focused on organisational design, strategy, growth and innovation. Her goal is to help you think differently, work differently and feel in control of your own destiny.

I want to be influential


How to lead with impact