The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die!
April 23, 2008
BE HAPPY ZONE
By Lionel Ketchian
What are the Five Secrets? The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, is the name of a great new book by John Izzo, Ph.D. The book begins with a premise that we might be better off learning those things that could help us live a better life, from older people who have lived that life. Dr. Izzo found about 200 people between the ages of 58-105 years old. He asks the question: "Would we learn some important things about living with purpose and finding deep happiness if we talked to those who had lived most of their lives already and had found happiness and meaning?" John found in his interviews that "all happy and wise people eventually discover and live these five secrets."
John distinguishes knowledge from wisdom in that there is a great deal of knowledge and more is being created all the time. Wisdom, is the ability to know what is important and what is not important. This is critical to finding real meaning in one's life. Dr. Izzo, holding advanced degrees in religion and psychology, said, "In my experience, the two things humans want most are to find happiness and meaning."
What are the secrets? I will tell you, but you still have to read the book to really learn and understand the secrets. "The first secret is: be true to your self." John raises this thought: "The question that happy people ask is not whether they are focusing on what matters but whether they are focusing on what matters to them! The second secret is: leave no regrets." John uncovers an important directive for our happiness, when he reports the following: "Perhaps what often determines our happiness in life is the step we take after a setback."
"The third secret is: become love. When they spoke (to the 200 elders) of how important love was in their lives, they were defining love more as a choice than an emotion. The secret to a happy and purposeful life was to choose to be a loving person, to become love." John mentions the reason he feels this way is the following. "Although we have little control over whether we get love, we have almost complete control over whether we become love."
An interesting study of 100 of the happiest people by Marci Shimoff the author of the great new book, Happy for No Reason, 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out revealed a similar conclusion: Those 100 happy people were all loving people that felt a connection to others. These two studies and the interviews can teach us how important love can be for the happiness of the individual.
"The fourth secret is: live the moment. I have discovered that happy people know that we are more in control of our minds than most people realize. The fifth secret is: give more than you take." In his interviews, John learned this profound truth. The happiest people he interviewed were the least focused on themselves. Robert Louis Stevenson said, “To forget oneself is to be happy.”
With great awareness, John advises us about: "Preparing to die well: happy people are not afraid to die." John says, "Unless we come to peace with death, not as some foreign invader but as a part of what it means to be human, only then can we find peace." John further advises us, "I also learned that until we accept that death is a part of life, we are not ready to embrace life."
I agree with John on the idea of accepting our death without fear. I have found that facing my own death with awareness has become a liberating thing for me. It has freed me from fear and uncertainty and brought me to live in the present moment with lasting happiness. It may be helpful to quote the words of Bertolt Brecht, who said: "Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life."
John wants you to "contemplate the five secrets." He says, "Try to resist the temptation to "judge" your life. Instead, ask: How can I embrace and live the five secrets more deeply?" John is very perceptive in advising us not to judge our life. Judging produces a negative state in us, and does nothing to change the things we want to change. I am so glad that John has written this wonderful book. I am grateful to John for raising our awareness of the important things we can learn before it is too late.
We do not need to acquire more knowledge; we need to master more wisdom. This way we can to live our lives with authenticity and power. John reveals this wisdom to us with great insights, and shows us lasting peace through his interviews with the elder individuals he spent time with to create this book. I recommend this book to you whole-heartedly. You can take my word for it, because being 62 years old and happy, I fall into the category this book was created from.
Now that I told you about this great book, I know you will be dying to read it. Buy it, borrow it, take it out of the library and read it. You will find that it offers you a great deal to live for. It will help you become a positive force in your own life and the lives of others.
Lionel Ketchian is the founder of the Happiness Club and can be reached at PrintLRK@aol.com. The website is .