Abundance has brought beautiful things to our lives, but that bevy of material goods has not necessarily made us much happier. The paradox of prosperity is that while living standards have risen steadily decade after decade, personal, family, and life satisfaction haven’t budged. That’s why more people–liberated by prosperity but not fulfilled by it–are resolving the paradox by searching for meaning. As Columbia University’s Andrew Delbanco puts it, “The most striking feature of contemporary culture is the unslaked craving for transendence.”

Daniel Pink argues that we should be developing the right side of our brains to compensate for the over-developed left brain skills. The areas for growth include:

  • Design
  • Story (or Narrative)
  • Symphony (big picture thinking)
  • Meaning
  • Empathy
  • Play (Joy/Celebration)

Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, 35.