I was recently given a copy of John Izzo's latest book, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, I've just begun reading it, and so far, it's great!
Dr. John Izzo apparently interviewed over 200 people, researching the secrets of living a meaningful happy life.
Four thousand people were nominated by friends or loved ones as being true pillars of wisdom and joy.
The author then chose 235 of those candidates between 60 and 105 years old. Wise elders advice and his experiences teach us how to practice them.
He was inspired to focus more on what mattered most after his wife suffered from a stroke close to his 50th birthday.
The interviewing process was emotional but also a positive, fulfilling and life altering journey for Izzo. The interviewees ranged from aboriginal elders to town barbers, from Hollacaust survivors to former CEO's.
The Five Secrets You Must Know Before You Die:
1. Be true to yourself
While this is a common saying, he helps us explore whether we are being true to ourselves by questioning whether we are following our heart and focusing on what really matters. If you know yourself, and love yourself, you will find it is effortless to be true to yourself.
2. Live no regrets
This requires living out of courage and not fear. Most people have some things they would have done differently, but Izzo noticed the ones that were happy did not dwell on regrets. A woman named Elsa in her seventies said that she received the most valuable advice from her daughter. "Mom, you just have to dust yourself off and get back up."
Setbacks happen to everyone but it's how people handle them that makes the difference. Some choose to stop risking or loving or trying and give up. While the ones that remain happier strive on continuing to love despite the risks.
The author’s grandfather offered him the idea, early in his life, to judge his days by how satisfying they are. Each day will pass, it is simply the law of time and space, but how we live and how fulfilled we are, will become the foundation of great choices. Quite simply, we get this one chance to create a life that leaves no regrets. Do what thrills us.
3. Become love
One of the most important secrets is to "Become Love". Dr. Izzo helps define this love to be more of a verb, since it involves choosing to act loving rather than the emotion of love. Izzo asks us to recognize that love is not an idea, it is an action. Before you can share love, you must first have love for yourself. Otherwise, how can you share what you don’t have? Self love is the most important element of becoming a spiritually healthy person. Love is a miracle. Embrace it!
4. Live the moment
Dr.Izzo writes, " I came to believe that through this secret, live the moment, they were telling me to judge my life less and enjoy it more." No matter what you're doing, notice the moments that surround you and listen to the world.
5. Give more than you take
Accumulating material possessions, seeking love and fame are not ways people will find happiness and meaning. Serving others is what brings long-term fulfilment.
"Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. "
The rewards of each of these five principles are limitless, and amazingly, they are free.