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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Whole New Mind: The Six Senses (Meaning)

The 6th of Pink's Six Senses: Meaning

Meaning. Pink ends on this point, which naturally leads him to his newest book Drive! As it turns out, I read Drive before this book…backwards, which sometimes explains my life. Fittingly, Pink opens with one of my favorite guys in history, psychiatrist and former Holocaust survivor, Vicktor Frankl, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning. For Frankl the fundamental motivator in life is not money or possessions, but finding meaning and purpose. One quote from Frankl’s book that Pink quotes: “’People have enough to live, but nothing to live for; they have the means but no meaning (p. 218).’” Pink rightfully spends a portion of this chapter talking about happiness and Dr. Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who founded the positive psychology movement. For years, psychology studied depression and not happiness. So Seligman decided to study mirth! Seligman found that happiness stem from your own biology (kind of a happiness set point), engaging work, avoiding negative emotions, being married (go figure!), having a strong social network, being grateful, being forgiving, and having optimism. People with such an outlook don’t have a job—they have a calling—perhaps a life with less money, but a life with spirit, happiness and above all meaning. Again, many thanks for Dan Pink for writing this book, which will no doubt change many people’s lives.

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