By Carolyn Anderson MD FRCSC
Best-selling author and renowned international speaker, John Izzo, has gathered an extensive collection of wisdom from over 18,000 years of experience. He interviewed over 200 people between the ages of 60 and 100 who were voted as the wisest people by their peers.
All this insight is gathered in an incredible book that highlights the five secrets to a happy and purpose filled life. Knowing how to use our one life to its fullest requires wisdom more than knowledge. Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk. There is an intuitive connection between age and wisdom, yet sometimes age shows up without wisdom. For the individuals interviewed in this book, age was associated with immense wisdom and the common themes for a happy life were summarized in the 5 secrets.
5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die
1) Be True to Your Self
Wise people continually ask themselves whether they were living the life they wanted to live and truly following their hearts. As Socrates so brilliantly stated “The unexamined life is not worth living”. The message was to live your life with intention and ask yourself…Is my life focused on the things that really matter to ME? Am I the person I want to be in this world? Happy people know what makes them happy and they continue to make this a priority. I think a lot of elderly people forget what makes them happy and they stop doing it. Take time to hear the small inner voice that tells you if you are missing the mark on your deepest desires.
2) Leave No Regrets
What we fear most is not having lived to the fullest extent possible, having to say “I wish I had”. We must live with courage, moving toward what we want rather than away from what we fear. At the end of our lives we will not regret risks that we took that did not work out the way we hoped. We only regret the risks we did not take. The message from all those interviewed was to take more risks. More risks of the heart and the risk to truly reach out for what you want in life. I think after we have lived a long life we begin to realize that there was much less to lose than we thought there was. Ask yourself what step would I take in my life right now if I were acting with courage not fear?
3) Become Love
The giving and receiving of love is a fundamental building block of a happy and purposeful life. Be a loving person. Love is a choice not just an emotion. Although we may not have the ability to “feel” love at will, we have the power at every moment to choose to become love. The power to choose to love transforms us.
4) Live the Moment
It all goes by so fast. We believe we have forever and we soon realize this is not so. To live in the moment means to be fully in every moment of our lives, to not judge our lives but to live fully. Wise people see each day as a great gift. Seneca, the Roman philosopher said that “we should count each day as a separate life” Each day is not a step on the way to a destination. It is the destination. Do not rush through moments of joy. Breathe them in. Experience them. Live fully.
5) Give More Than You Take
What matters most at the end of your life is what you leave behind. That something was different because you were here. The message is to leave the world better than you found it. It is those who give the most that find the greatest joy.
These 5 secrets are words of immense wisdom. They are beneficial to all of us no matter what age we are. John Izzo makes an interesting point in the conclusion… sometimes when he talks to people in their 40s or 50s they talk as if their life were over. But really they have only been an adult for 25 years. It is not very much time to figure life out. And if you live to be 90 or 100 you may have another entire adult lifetime or maybe two before you die. Don’t give up on yourself or life. It is never too late. Hold on, keep growing, you will find your dreams and make a difference while you are here.
Armed with these 5 secrets we all have a much better chance of finding our dreams and impacting the world. Read The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die book for a deeper insight into these principles.
About the Author: Carolyn Anderson is the founder of Impowerage and an avid reader. She will be regularly reviewing the books she reads personally. Her favorite books are in the area of self-development and the psychology of success.