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Emily Esfahani Smith

Writer, Wife, Author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

WHAT’S ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot.

WHAT GIVES YOU GOOSE BUMPS?

The movie “Silver Linings Playbook.”

WHAT IS YOUR BAD DAY BACKUP PLAN?

Going on a run and/or reading.

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

I’m grateful for my family, friends, and all the people who have shared their stories with me over the years.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

I used to think success was achieving your goals, but now I think that’s a limited definition. Perhaps success is making a positive difference in the lives of others.

BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

Swim in your own swim lane. In other words, don’t worry about what other people are doing and don’t compare yourself to others. Follow your own path and do the best work you can.

BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER GIVEN?

Be generous in how you interpret the motivations of others.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW THAT YOU ARE EXCITED ABOUT?

An article about moral courage.

HOW DO YOU PRESS PAUSE?

Silence and solitude.

WHAT DID YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF LOVE DOING?

I loved riding my bike and reading (not at the same time). My favorite book back then was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE MAGIC POWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Invisibility.

WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT?

Writing.

WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU GRAB IN A FIRE?

My husband, my iPad (which is my library), and a beautiful mirror my dad carved from wood for my husband and I for our wedding. (Iranian wedding ceremonies feature a mirror that the husband and wife look into at the end to symbolize their two selves becoming one.)

WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE – YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE?

Writing and promoting my book.

FAVORITE WORD?

Grace. It’s a beautiful word that contains a whole world of meaning within it.

FAVORITE WORK OF ART?

Right now, it’s Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossom.” He painted it during a dark time in his life, but it is full of hope and life.

FAVORITE POEM?

“Four Quartets” by T.S. Eliot. It’s all about how to lead a meaningful life and the barriers that get in the way of that. Plus, the language is just gorgeous.

To learn more about Emily, check out her website Emily Esfahani Smith and follow her on:

Emily Esfahani Smith

I wish you all the best,

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