The Meaning of Life: A guide to finding your life’s purpose

Nathanael Garrett Novosel

Publisher: Nathanael Garrett Novosel Pages: 360 Price: (paperback) $19.95 ISBN: 9781948220019 Reviewed: March, 2020 Author Website: Visit »

In this volume, professional researcher and executive advisor Nathanael Garrett Novosel offers seekers looking for a good reason to get up every morning a fresh, encouraging way to figure out the meaning of life: “[T]he only solution,” he writes, “is to start by understanding how life works—how to think about life, not how to live it.”

Readers won’t find first-person tales of success and failure here, or spiritual teachings. Novosel offers no rules or platitudes. By understanding the author’s eight concepts—including growth (“Life’s definition, purpose, and significance”), experience (“Life’s medium for growth”), belief (“Life’s sustaining force”), and support (“Life’s protection and nurturing system”)— readers can determine for themselves how to best use their own unique skills and interests to satisfy their desire to be of value.

Novosel explains each concept scientifically and logically. In the chapter on emotions, for example, he details the chemical and psychological basis for the difference between pleasure (short-term), and fulfillment (longer-lasting). At each chapter’s end, he provides questions to help readers determine how the concept works in their lives, as well as exercises to help them apply the concept to become more fulfilled. The author suggests no implicit hierarchy of purpose: To be content is just as worthwhile as striving for a world-changing goal.

The book requires concentration and introspection. As such, it could come across, particularly to younger readers, as plodding or dense. Indeed, it could have benefited from leaner prose style and a more entertaining design. But Novosel’s content is original and actionable and his tone is compassionate and supportive, and that makes it well worth reading.

The Meaning of Life doesn’t dictate the answer to the timeless question of “Why am I here?” Better, it invites the answer to emerge from the reader’s soul.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Crownsville, Maryland
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