Personal goals, life meaning, and virtue: Wellsprings of a positive life [chapter]

Robert A. Emmons
Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived.  
Nothing is so insufferable to man as to be completely at rest, without passions, without business, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nothingness, his forlornness, his insufficiency, his weakness, his emptiness. (Pascal, The Pensees, 1660 /1950 ). As far as we know humans are the only meaning-seeking species on the planet. Meaning-making is an activity that is distinctly human, a function of how the human brain is organized. The many ways in which humans conceptualize, create,
more » ... and search for meaning has become a recent focus of behavioral science research on quality of life and subjective well-being. This chapter will review the recent literature on meaning-making in the context of personal goals and life purpose. My intention will be to document how meaningful living, expressed as the pursuit of personally significant goals, contributes to positive experience and to a positive life.
doi:10.1037/10594-005 fatcat:ayu7a44kpbdgxp6khu5eesyuhm