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Who speaks to the challenges faced by the 1 billion people with a better-than-average ability to think? Who speaks to you?

Smartness is a smart person's defining characteristic. Everything she thinks about the world—how she forms her identity, how she construes her needs, how she talks to herself about her life purposes and goals—is a function of how her particular brain operates. She is her smartness in a way that she is not her height, her gender, her moods, or her experiences. Her particular mind with its particular intelligence is the lens through which she looks at life, and it is also the engine that drives her days and her nights. It is her idiosyncratic brain, mind, and intelligence that determine how she will live—and why.

Natural psychology identifies meaning first as a subjective psychological experience, second as a certain sort of idea that we form, and third as a certain sort of evaluation about life that we hold. It then describes the profound shift that a person can experience from seeking meaning to making meaning and distinguishes between making meaning any which way and value-based meaning-making. It further identifies making meaning as the key to emotional health and personal satisfaction.

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Meaning is primarily a subjective psychological experience. A smart person is more likely than the next person to be aware of its absence and to be affected by its absence. He is more likely to get bored, to experience meaninglessness, to begin to see the extent to which neither his society nor the universe are built to satisfy his meaning needs, and to then hunt for soothing or exciting meaning substitutes that ultimately reduce his freedom.