One Dozen Secrets to Living a Great Life

by Carol Hess on June 10, 2012

It’s amazing what you can discover just by pulling a couple of books off the Amazon virtual shelves and reading the table of contents.  God, I love books!

Here are 10 secrets I stumbled across this morning when I should have been downstairs feeding myself and the cats.  I’m really glad I postponed breakfast.   If you know me, you know how rarely I say that.

From The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

And from The 5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John B. Izzo:

  1. Be true to yourself.
  2. Leave no regrets.
  3. Become love.
  4. Live the moment.
  5. Give more than you take.

Finally, a couple of my favorite Star Polisher secrets for living a full-tilt life and having no regrets:

  1. Find out what you came here to do.
  2. Do it.

What’s your secret to living a great life?

by Carol Hess


Categories Carol's Musings, Personal Empowerment, The Art of Star Polishing, Weighing In (Rants & Raves)

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sandi Amorim June 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

Oh my, I love this post because it carries my kind of punch!

The ones that stick out for me are:
– leave no regrets
– be true to yourself

Doing my best to live that way cuz nothing else feels as good!



avatar Carol Hess June 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Yep, those are two of my favorites as well, Sandi. It’s amazing how powerful they are in helping us live life like we mean it.


avatar San D June 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I have always lived those rules, but cancer 25 years ago just reinforced them and I have been lucky to live my life the way I want, with my poor husband hanging on for dear life. LOL.

Anyway I have additional ones that are sort of cautionary.

1. There are no victims only volunteers.
2. Really mean it when you say or do it, otherwise don’t.


avatar Carol Hess June 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Cancer can be a huge wake-up call and a gift, can’t it, San D? Love your additions to the list.


avatar San D June 11, 2012 at 5:09 am

I forgot to add this one to the list:

Live your life like no one else is in it.

When I say that it always confuses people. They think I mean not to be generous or caring. Quite the contrary. What I mean to say is “don’t blame others” and make decisions that are based on if you were the only one. If, for example, you see something in your environment that should be done, don’t blame someone for not doing it, just do it, regardless of whose “job” it was supposed to be. But, if you are not bothered by it, then don’t do it. Dirty dishes come to mind. LOL. Lots of negative energy is wasted on assigning blame over something stupid.

And, yes, cancer is a gift. Which surprises people when I say it. Changed my life in many ways, dashed dreams and gave me new ones.


avatar Carol Hess June 11, 2012 at 5:49 am

“Live your life like no one else is in it.” That is positively brilliant, San D. Honestly — just that one secret can improve every relationship we’ve got, can’t it? I think you have to be a member of the cancer club to understand its gift. Stephen Levine comes close to describing it in his book A Year to Live.


avatar Sandi Amorim June 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Ha! My husband also hangs on for dear life 😉


avatar Carol Hess June 11, 2012 at 5:51 am

I bet he does, Sandi!


avatar Stephanie June 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Boy oh boy, Carol, aren’t these Life Basics 101? Short, to the point, and meaning-full. If we fashioned these into a to-do list and practiced them each day, how different life could be. It’s something to aspire to. Here’s my addition to the list:

Live out loud rather than in a whisper.

Love as always,


avatar Carol Hess June 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I’d settle for practicing these every other day — life would still be amazing! Love your addition to the list, Steph.


avatar Stephanie June 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

It sure would be!


avatar Joan June 12, 2012 at 8:55 am

Mind your own business! By this I mean, not to worry about others. In the end I am only responsible for me. Make decisions that I can live with! Concern yourself with your own problems , and don’t try to fix others!
Forgiveness is also important !


avatar Sandi Amorim June 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

That’s awesome Joan! Reminds me of Byron Katie’s words…

There’s God’s business. Your business. And others’ business. Which business are you minding?


avatar Carol Hess June 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

Love that, Sandi. :)


avatar Carol Hess June 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

Minding our own business, not trying to fix others. And forgiving. Great additions to our list, Joan. Thank you!


avatar Sarah June 21, 2012 at 1:08 am

Wow, Carol – this so nails it! Punchy and to the point. Reading this and the comments made me look up one of my favorite quotes. So glad I found it again because I need to remember!
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey


avatar Carol Hess June 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Amen to that, Sarah! It just became one of my favorite quotes too. Thanks for sharing it. :)


avatar paula July 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

the cancer club – wow, that’s food for thought in every particular. i mean, nobody wants it, but once you have it, and live through it if you’re really lucky (and have awesome friends & family to stand by you), it takes off those glasses that keep your mind shuttered and suddenly, you know that every day is important. really important. and you don’t forget it.

you women know the secrets of making your lives count, and carol, you are singing a really new song, in the face of some adversity and hardship. you are strong.

xx p


avatar Carol Hess July 6, 2012 at 6:47 am

Yes, Paula, I know you know all about membership in the Cancer Club. We wouldn’t nominate our best friend for membership, but getting those life-limiting glasses you mentioned removed is a game changer in a good way. As for knowing the secret to making your life count, I think I’m going to call you the Queen of the Secret Keepers, Miss Paula. You’ve always known how to do that, even before cancer. So lucky for those of us who get to share your life.


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