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The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die Paperback – January 1, 2008
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More About the Author
John has devoted the past 25 years of his life and career to facilitating deeper conversations about values, work, life, leadership and success. He has worked with thousands of leaders, professionals and front-line colleagues to foster workplaces of excellence, purpose, learning and renewal. His clients have ranged from high tech to high touch, hotels to hospitals, and from government agencies to entrepreneurial start-ups. Drawing on his early work in ministry and thousands of programs on creating "Spirited Workplaces," Izzo challenges people to strive to live their values, connect with each other and to humbly balance achievement with fulfillment. Izzo is the author of several books, including the bestselling Awakening Corporate Soul. He has served on the faculties of The University of California -San Diego, and Kent State University.
Top Customer Reviews
John interviewed over 200 people, all over the age of 60 and some up into their hundreds, who had been identified by their own friends and family as "the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning." These people were asked such questions as: "What has brought you the greatest sense of meaning and purpose in life?" and "What is the greatest fear at the end of life?" They were asked to finish the sentence: "I wish I had..." These elders came from all walks of life and acted many roles; some were authors, professors, or business owners, others were a nurse, psychologist, biologist, and a barber. Amazingly, or expectedly, their answers were quite similar. Therein are the five secrets.
The first, and only one I will divulge, is "Be True to Your Self." Of course this can mean different things to each person who reads the words, but author John Izzo guides readers to the purpose behind them. His guidance leads one to ask in this chapter, "Am I following my heart?" "Is my life focused on the things that really matter to me?" and "Am I being the person I want to be in this world?" Answering these questions will lead a person to be true to themselves. Izzo demonstrates the secret by sharing stories from his interviewees. They share by example, much as elders have done since the dawn of humanity. This brings the secret to life for us, and then Izzo gives us homework.Read more ›
1. Why do some people find meaning & die happy
2. Why I talked to the town barber (and 200 other people over 60) about life
3. The first secret: be true to your self
4. The second secret: leave no regrets
5. The third secret: become love
6. The fourth secret: live the moment
7. The fifth secret: give more than you take
8. When you know you have to go (putting secrets into practice)
9. Preparing to die well: happy people are not afraid to die
10.A final lesson: it's never too late to live the secrets
Epilogue: How this book changed me
The author writes in conversational tone and supported his secrets with colorful anecdotes and personal reflections. For example, in the second secret (leave no regrets) Izzo states that in "his experience from the last 30 years, validated in these interviews, death is not what we fear the most. When we have lived life fully and done what we hoped to do, we can accept death with grace. What we fear most is not having lived to the fullest extent possible, to come to the end of our life with our final words being `I wish I had.'...to leave no regrets we must live with courage, moving toward what we want rather than away from what we fear."
While the 5 secrets aren't a surprise to many, there are many powerful insights in this book that leave you thinking. And while it's one thing to know the secrets, it's an entirely different (and more difficult) matter to put them into action.
If you enjoyed this book, pick up John's Izzo other gem - Second Innocence.
Izzo proposes we do that by accepting that life is limited to an unknown amount of time for each of us but that within this limited time we have unlimited opportunities to choose to find meaning by living a purposeful life and thereby find happiness.
He interviewed several hundred older people--"wise elders"--based on the recommendations of persons who recognized them as sources of wisdom. In this way, Izzo turns to ordinary folks who have lived full lives for the wisdom necessary to do the same. If other great teachers of our time and previous times have said it before, so be it. Now we receive the wisdom from the local barber, the Holocaust survivor, the grandma on the porch rocker.....All of Izzo's sources are over 60 because, the author said, this is the age at which most people tend to reflect on life. They're done having and getting; they are looking back on all that they have done.
This diverse group offered insights that came down to these five points:
1. Be true to yourself by living with intention. Know your heart's desire and seek it.
2. Live with no regrets. Regrets, Izzo said, are most persons' biggest fear--not dying itself. So mend fences, make peace, and move your life into a place of peace. The best way to live without regret, Izzo says, is to take chances, pursue those dreams, and accept the failure that might be your way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The younger you are when you read this book the better. Why wait until you are 60 or 70 or 80 to think about if your life was lived for something or not. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeff C. Annis
I think this book should be on everyone's special handful of books shelf. Great effort was made to distill the real thoughts of real people in the situation every one of us will... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Anton Uhl
This was okay. The author was enthusiastic about his topic and had some interesting people he admired and included in his discussion. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book spoke to me in ways I needed to hear. The universe had gotten my attention.
John Izzo organized the book around 235 interviews with successful people as... Read more
A great book with great advice. It even includes a list of questions to ask wise loved ones to learn about their secrets of life and the wisdom they have gained. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Margaret D.
I've read many personal development, self help and spiritual wellness type books and literature. These five secrets you must discover will captivate your curiosity in the way the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by steve price