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Synopsis

Imagine for a moment that you are about to take a foreign vacation to an exotic destination. You have saved your entire life to travel there. It is a destination with almost unlimited choices of how to spend your time and you know you will not have enough time to explore every opportunity. You are fairly certain that you will never get to take a second trip to this destination; this will be your one opportunity. Now imagine that someone informs you that there are several people in your neighborhood who have been to that country, explored every corner. Some of them enjoyed the journey and have few regrets, but others wish they could take the trip again knowing what they know now. Would you not invite them over for dinner, ask them to bring their photographs, listen to their stories, and hear their advice? This is precisely the journey explored in this book. Dr. John Izzo and his colleagues interviewed over 200 people over the age of sixty (up to 106 years of age) who were identified by others as having lived happy lives and as having found purpose and contentment. The interviewees ranged from aboriginal elders to town barbers, from Hollacaust survivors to former CEO’s. In these interviews, each person was asked to reflect back on his or her life to identify the sources of happiness and meaning as well as lessons learned, regrets, major crossroads, and what did not contribute to meaning in their lives. Based on these interviews, and Dr. Izzo’s twenty years experience helping people find more spirit and purpose, the book explores the secrets to finding contentment, happiness, and purpose. Using a powerful narrative voice, Dr. Izzo helps the reader understand the common themes from the lives of those interviewed, the commonality of what really matters in their lives, and especially how to put this wisdom into practice.

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