Idea/Concept: Novosel tackles an enormous topic--no less than the meaning of life itself--and distills it into concepts and actionable steps that readers can personalize and embrace.
Prose: The author's prose style is quite clear and evenly presented. By organizing the guide into broad thematic sections, Novosel allows for an uncluttered and relatively brisk reading experience.
Originality: Questions about life's purpose lie at the root of a great many books, but few as concretely lay out a blueprint for discovering--or making--meaning.
Execution: Inevitably, Novosel's guide may be accused of oversimplification. While this may be valid, by positing that meaning making is an individualistic exercise--and providing thought-provoking questions and prompts for further self-discovery--Novosel delivers a gratifying path to fulfillment.
Date Submitted: January 26, 2020
A brief introductory quiz asks readers to rate statements such as “I appreciate what I have in life” and “I live my life with a sense of purpose.” After each chapter’s introduction, there is a lengthy explanation of each core concept. These sections can read like scholarly articles (“With more time, effort, and attention, humans maximize their abilities”), but they’ll appeal to readers who are moved by scientific analysis. Pragmatic tools at the end of each chapter help the reader make more personal connections to each of the eight concepts. At the end of the book, the reader returns to the initial questions to see how their understanding of the meaning of life has changed.
Thoroughly and consistently covering every aspect of the quest for the meaning of life, Novosel helps readers to walk away with a concrete sense of personal discovery. He neither leans on nor tries to refute religion, making the work accessible to readers from the staunchly atheist to the deeply devout. Whether readers are struggling in difficult times, experiencing uncertainty, or living their best lives, this book will help them find their footing and develop unique individual concepts of direction, purpose, and meaning.
Takeaway: Anyone curious about the history of the quest for meaning or in need of a personal sense of purpose will benefit from this thorough guide.
Great for fans of Maxie McCoy’s You’re Not Lost, Misty Edwards’s What Is the Point?, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans’s Designing Your Life.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: B
Review Rating: 5 Stars
The Meaning of Life: A Guide to Finding Your Life's Purpose by Nathanael Garrett Novosel is a compelling work that provides tools for readers to find their purpose and to embrace it. While the title suggests a work that is motivational, the book is written from a scientific perspective and engages readers in honest conversations with themselves. I have read books that invite readers to discover the reason they are here, but very few provide clarity with regards to the path that readers can use to find their purpose. In this book, the author explores the different phases and moments of personal life and growth and redefines the concepts of growth, experience, desire, belief, emotions, ethics and support, and choice while showing the part that each of these plays in the individual’s discerning of their “why am I here?”
Nathanael Garrett Novosel is a great writer who asks existential questions like: "How did life come to be? How does life work? How should I live my life? And what should be my ultimate goal in life?” The book is filled with exercises that allow readers to determine whether they have a clear idea of what they are meant to do or not. The exercises are designed for the reader to dig deeper into themselves and identify what they really need. The book is written in an easy-to-read style that engages the reader right from the beginning. The Meaning of Life: A Guide to Finding Your Life's Purpose is an invaluable tool for finding the path in life and their place in the world. The idea of a meaningful life has captured many minds and those who don’t want to simply float through life will discover great tools to define their foothold in this book. Both inspiring and informative.