“We do not have to wait until we are old to become wise. We can discover these secrets at any age and the sooner we discover them, the more fulfilling our lives will be.” – John Izzo, Ph.D.
What makes life worth living? How can we live in a meaningful and joyous way? Do we need to fear death? Dr. John Izzo addresses these questions in his latest book The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die.
In the book, Izzo not only shares these concepts, but he illustrates them by telling the stories of the extraordinary people he interviewed. In addition, he developed a series of questions that readers can ask themselves to help integrate the secrets into their lives.
These secrets are inspiring and provide a good blueprint or roadmap, for all of us to use in our journey of finding happiness and our life’s purpose. The following is a brief synopsis of each secret:
- Be True to Yourself. You must follow your heart and your dreams, not the dreams someone else has for you. This may mean making a radical change in your life, or simply making small adjustments. The key to continually examine your life is to make sure you are following your own true path.
Questions to ask yourself: Did this week or day feel like my kind or week/day? What would make tomorrow or next week feel more true to myself?
- Leave No Regrets. Although all of the people whom Izzo interviewed had some regrets, people who had the fewest were the happiest. A common theme, he discovered, is that people don’t regret risks that failed; instead they regretted not having risked more.
Questions to ask yourself: Did I act on my convictions this week? How am I responding to the setbacks in my life right now? Am I stepping forward or retreating?
- Become Love. The more you focus on acting with love, the more you will find happiness, says Izzo. This begins with choosing to love yourself and breaking away from thoughts that are self-defeating and self-critical. You must make loving relationships a priority in your life.
Questions to ask yourself: Did I make room for friends, family and relationships today or this week? Did I spread love and kindness in the world at each interaction?
- Live the Moment. Living the moment means living your life now rather than simply planning it. “We must always live in the present moment, the only moment in which we have any power,” writes Izzo.
Questions to ask yourself: Did I fully enjoy whatever I was doing this day/week? What am I grateful for right now?
- Give More Than You Take. Each day you have the power to give without limit. Izzo’s interviews reveal that people long to make a contribution. Giving connects people to something larger than themselves – whether it’s a supreme being of the entire human experience and journey.
Questions to ask yourself: Did I make the world a better place this week in a small? Was I kind, generous, giving this week? How can I be more that way tomorrow?
Perhaps the most important message to take away from The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die is that it’s never too late to start leading a meaningful life. Age doesn’t matter. All you need is the knowledge and the will to change.
A frequent message on The BridgeMaker is to not allow shame, regret or fear keep you from creating the life that you want. No matter what the past holds, it is the past. Life is about moving forward; about living a life that resonates with truth and purpose. Dr. John Izzo’s The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die is a good resource for the journey.