BeSuccessful Books: ‘Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most’


As part of our ongoing series on books aimed at inspiring you to be your best, Together reviews ‘Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most’ by Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, and Ryan McAnnally-Linz

This book is a thought-provoking exploration on what makes a good life. The authors are from Yale College’s Center for Faith and Culture who run their most in-demand humanities course: Life Worth Living. Students describe the course as life changing, and preliminary research has shown significant effects of the course on students’ sense of meaning in life. Now we can all have these insights through this guide. 

The search for meaning, as Yale faculty Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, and Ryan McAnnally-Linz argue, is at the centre of a crisis that is facing Western culture, a crisis that, they propose, can be ameliorated by searching in one’s own life for the underlying truth. The book asks questions, providing readers with jumping-off points, road maps, and habits of reflection for figuring out where their lives hold meaning and where things need to change.

Drawing from the major world religions and secular figures, A Life Worth Living is a guide to one of the oldest questions asked by all the world’s religions as well as by philosophers and thinkers throughout the ages. How are we to live? And what makes life worth living.

The book unfolds as a series of reflections, guiding readers through various aspects of human experience and offering reflections on the fundamental questions of purpose, identity, relationships, and the pursuit of happiness. The authors encourage readers to reflect deeply, question assumptions, and contemplate their own values and priorities.

The book aims not only to inspire contemplation but also to provoke action. Readers are encouraged to translate their reflections into concrete steps towards living a life aligned with their values and aspirations. Whether it be fostering meaningful connections, pursuing passions, or contributing to the well-being of others, the authors empower readers to actively shape their own lives.

“We find ourselves running through life, searching for one thing after another, often in a kind of rat race, often chasing an elusive goal and never quite getting there,” said Volf, one of the three authors. “It’s really helpful sometimes to stop and ask, ‘What truly matters?’”