Review: The Art of Meaningful Living

The Art of Meaningful Living

The Art of Meaningful Living
By Christopher F. Brown
Art by John Palmer
Synergy Books
September 2009
128pp

The blurb from the publisher:

Too often our meaningful lives and the things we are passionate about are buried under disappointments and lost dreams.

Christopher F. Brown, LCSW, MBA, offers a powerful book combining psychological concepts with beautiful, provocative artwork done by John Palmer to help us move beyond the pain in our present lives to something more valuable and joyful. Divided into four stages, Brown has put together this thought-provoking guide to transform a life filled with dissatisfaction to a life filled with true meaning. Open to any page and begin your own journey toward a meaningful life.

The Short of It:

The Art of Meaningful Living walks us through the various stages of what it takes to live a meaningful life. Filled with artwork to emphasize each stage, this book is both refreshing and different.

The Rest of It:

This is a really interesting book. I’m at a point in my life where the everyday routine gets to me. Normally having a routine is very soothing but of late, my routine has been running me into the ground a bit. I think that is one of the reasons that I have been turning to non-fiction lately and when this book came along, once again it seemed like it was put into my hands for a reason.

The Art of Meaningful Living is an art book of sorts. Each section (Wisdom, Action, Resilience) contains artwork to emphasize its points. Each section contains topics such as:

  • Understand the Control Problem
  • Change is a Process, Not an Event
  • Spend Your Time on Your Passions
  • Make Effective Decisions

It’s not just an art book though. Each section addresses things that we experience each day of our lives and with each section being only 1-2 pages long, I find them very readable and it doesn’t matter which order you read them in. You can read the book from the beginning, or you can jump to a topic of particular interest. I jumped right to the section on Control because I have issues with control. Here is a quote from that section:

Focusing your energy on things you cannot control or influence leads to ineffectiveness, disappointment and frustration.

I think that it’s important to mention here that I am not big on self-help books but to me, this one doesn’t really fall into that category. It’s beautifully done. The artwork is stunning and it doesn’t feel like a self-help book. It’s not preachy, just very inspirational.

If you’d like to read more about the book and Christopher F. Brown, click here to visit his website.

Source: Thanks to Phenix and Phenix Literary Publicists for sending me this review copy.

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13 thoughts on “Review: The Art of Meaningful Living”

  1. I’m drowning in all kinds of stuff these days. I think this book would do me some good. I too, don’t like self-help, as they always come across as bossy and condescending. This one sounds much more subtle, like maybe a wise, elderly loved one giving you really good advice. I’ll have to see if I can find it. Maybe it will help me get back on track!

  2. What a creative idea, to combine art with self-help…sounds more interesting than most of this genre! I could use a little help shaking me out of my routine, maybe I’ll get this one…

    1. You should write your own book about it. The routine of work brings me down too. Even the morning routine brings me down. If it weren’t for the brief break I get on the weekend I’d lose it.

  3. I tend to stay away from self-help books, but this one looks like something I’d be interested in, because of the art!

    Sometimes I need inspiration and/or food for thought, but an entire book of “you shoulds” doesn’t do it for me– and it doesn’t seem like this is that type?

    I wonder if it would end up in the art section of some bookstores?

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