How things naturally fall into place and connect to one another when your life gets overwhelming never fails to amaze me. The past few weeks and months meant juggling work and graduate school requirements. I felt the need to breathe that after submitting a theory paper, I indulged in a Netflix-and-chill treat.
My binge-watching subject of choice? The hit 2020 Thai series My Husband-in-Law. The romantic comedy series got me hooked and I found myself squeezing an episode or two into my daily to-do list.
Have you ever been so attached to fictional characters that you find yourself researching the actors behind them? Well, that was the case for me with the Thai lead stars. Soon enough, I was checking out well-loved actor Mark Prin or Prin Suparat’s vlog Landmark on Youtube. There, as recommended by my good friend Ate Rose, I was led to an episode of “Bookmark” where the Thai heartthrob let us into his recommended books, with one standing out – The 5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die.
Published in 2008, the book is not new on the shelf but anyone into psychology, interested in self-improvement, or looking for something meaningful would find the piece intriguing. In the name of productive fangirling, I purchased the e-book online and it immediately found a spot in my pursuit of finding peace in the midst of chaos.
“I mostly read psychology books and this book changed me. It taught me the art of letting go,” Mark raved about the book he used to tell his fans was his favorite. How different things led me to this title involved the right timing and perhaps, divine intervention. I am happy to report that my celebrity crush’s book recommendation did not disappoint.
The 5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die is easy to read and conveniently divided into different sections for easy referencing. Written by award-winning author Dr. John Izzo, Ph.D., the book was based on his five-part television series of the same title which aired on The Biography Channel in Canada and PBS in the United States. After a number of preinterviews, Dr. Izzo interviewed over 200 people who are in their senior years to observe patterns and secrets of living happy lives.
In Chapter 2, the book mentioned, “Some people appear very happy and fulfilled at 30 but end up bitterly unhappy, so we felt it wise to talk to people toward the end of their lives.” As planned, when the author and his team of researchers were done with their conversations, the five secrets that cut across culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status emerged. As an overview, the book has rich and meaningful conversations on love, regrets, being present, giving and taking, conquering fears, and authenticity. Dr. Izzo was so thoughtful in his writing that he added interactive activities and exercises going beyond just theory.
Are the secrets really a secret? If you are anticipating jaw-dropping moments when you find out what they are, let me manage your expectations. While each is special, the secrets revealed are plans that only a few people instill in their lives. It is not so much about the secrets being new information but they are all a common part of the lives of the diverse group of people others said had found happiness and purpose.
I should not have judged The 5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die as just a typical self-help book when I first saw it. It turned out to be a well-researched foundational piece I will not forget. For what it is worth, Dr. Izzo said in his words, a year lived purposefully can have the power to wipe out many years of regret.
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