REFLECTION: It’s rare that I devour a book in just one or two sittings. But that’s exactly what I did with John Izzo’s new offering, “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die.”
Round One: feet up in front of the fire on a rainy afternoon. Round two: feet up on the deck in the warm morning sun. Although the setting in which you read doesn’t make the book, this is the kind of message that lends itself to feet up for reflection.
The book is based on a couple of premises. First, that we can recognize those who have discovered and lived wisdom in their lives. Second, despite our cultural preoccupation with youthfulness, that those who are over 60 hold a unique and valuable perspective on what really matters and can be mentors for us all.
Some 1100 individuals were recommended by others as people who had lived their lives with wisdom and happiness. Izzo and his research partners narrowed this list down to 235 and interviewed each one using a series of questions designed to uncover the ‘secrets’ of living well.
The themes are not surprising, given much of what has already been researched and published in the happiness literature. However, the stories – ah, the stories – are compelling.
ACTION: Test your experience against these five themes, and give a thought to what you might want to adjust living forward:
1. Be true to yourself (make choices with your values and purpose in mind)
2. Leave no regrets (take the risks and reach for what you really want in life)
3. Become love (make the choice not to search for love but to be a loving person)
4. Live the moment (judge life less and appreciate it more)
5. Give more than you take (serve others with kindness and a generosity of spirit)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Each person has a very specific purpose; you’re given all the tools you need.” – Tom McCallum (White Standing Buffalo)
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die” by John Izzo, Berret-Koehler Publishers, 2008.
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s Self Fending Fridays, W writes: Just read today’s Pause and it really hit home.I am 58 and had never taken a vacation until recently. Single mom – 2 kids – 3 jobs – blah blah blah. I didnít think I was missing anything. Well in May I went on a cruise to Alaska with my friends. What an eye opener! All I had to think about was me and what did I want to do today. Amazing.
We went because I’m on my fourth round of fighting cancer. I came back breathing better, feeling better, absolutely motivated about life again. From now on I am making time for me! Doesn’t have to be a cruise – maybe just a weekend away to spend with my grandson or visiting friends.
Why do we always need to get hit on the head before we realize how important life is? Thanks for your weekly Pauses. That is one thing I do for myself!