Recovery Bookshelf: The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die

Reviewed by Ann H. (Munro 2009)

bookshelf-five-secrets-143x232I was visiting my older sister Lyn in Barrie three months ago and I noticed this book on her coffee table. I picked it up and perused it. I could not put the book down.  I read it like a novel, and was up at 6:00 a.m., consuming the entire book in a day flat.

This book has had a huge, grandiose, stellar, amazing impact on my essence, soul, behaviour, happiness, love of others and myself.  I see people in a totally different light. Also astonishing, I don’t see colour in people any more, just people.

Lending the book out is a bit of a challenge to me. So I put inside the first cover: “This book explodes if you don’t return it!”

The author, Dr. John Izzo, interviewed a huge number of people from all over the world, ages 60 to 102, and received over 15,000 suggestions on the subjects of purpose, happiness, and having a calling. He then narrowed it down to 235 people “who had found it.” Here’s a summary of what this great book covers:

The First Secret: Be True to Yourself

Three questions that really matter:
*  Am I folllowing my heart and being true to myself?
*  Is my life focused on the things that really matter to me?
*  Am I being the person I want to be in the world?

* Choose to live life awake
* Is your life missing the mark
* Finding your destiny
* Following our hearts requires courage
* Sometimes the universe makes us listen

The Second Secret: Leave No Regrets

* A life of no regret means risking more
* The secret to no regret
* Choose the path that makes the best story
* Living as if your time is short
* Regrets are best let go

The Third Secret: Become Love

* Love is a choice
* First, love yourself
* Make love a priority
* Choosing to see others with kindness
* Do good if you can, but always do no harm

The Fourth Secret: Live In The Moment

* Choosing to be in every moment
* Every day is a gift
* Living as if it was your last sunset
* The present moment is the only moment
* Training our minds for happiness

The Fifth Secret: Give More Than You Take

* Ten-minute funerals and ten-hour funerals
* Ask what life expects of you
* The great task of life: lose yourself
* Learn to cry for the world, not yourself

The Last Chapter: When You Know You Have To Go

* Knowing is not the problem
* Natural learning:  how we make changes in our lives
* What we pay attention to grows
* Change begins with the first question
* We change best when we change together
* What are the rituals of your life?


“The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die” by John B. Izzo, Ph.D. Available at

About the Authors

Renascent Alumni
Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email