THE BOOK: LIVE A LIFE YOU LOVE
Thank you so much for your interest in my writing work and my 2010 book, Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You. I was so passionate about the messages in the book when I wrote it (“experience more happiness”, “live your dreams” etc.), and time and experience have shaped me since.
I have heard from many people over the years, that this book made a significant difference to their lives. Some of the stories have been incredible! This brings me so much joy.
Living with joy and achieving your dreams are good things, of course. As someone with a history of depression and burnout, I am still very passionate about teaching people how to make wise day-to-day choices that support and create optimal physical and mental health, increase resilience and build a meaningful life.
That said, I no longer believe that “happiness” and “living your dreams” are the most important, primary ingredients for a well-lived life. They are still good things, but I have come to feel that I overemphasized them in the book.
A truly meaningful life that matters isn’t one that is focused primarily on the self (and my book was pretty self-focused, to be honest). I’m no longer such a fan of ambitious, relentless self-actualization, though I still believe in developing one’s talents, abilities and passions and working/living with excellence.
Even though our culture might tell us otherwise, life’s not really about being the biggest or the best. Big isn’t necessarily better, and a focus on striving for more (particularly as a lifelong attitude) can be a grievous error. Of course we need our leaders, innovators and champions who dream big. The average person though, might be made to feel that their life isn’t of great worth, because they’re not doing something special or “big”. This is a potential source of needless despair.
There is a lot of content in the book that I still agree with. If you do decide to buy and read the book, I encourage you to do so from this perspective: take in what’s good, but please question anything that seems to be blindly aligned with popular cultural themes or may excessively self-focused. Consider, instead, the alternative (and even counter-cultural) approaches to a well-lived life, that come from a place of deep wisdom and true purpose.
I do still wish you a life that you love. May you live with the kind of love and deep appreciation that comes from looking back and appreciating both the highs and the lows, the good times and the mistakes, for what they taught you. A life that you can be deeply grateful for, today.
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"Dr. Biali is a world-class speaker who completely wowed almost a thousand women at our 5th annual Woman of Worth event. She was hands-down the most powerful speaker of the day, inspiring the audience to rave reviews with her candor, humor and passion."
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Physician, Chief Medical Officer & HealthTap Cofounder
Susan, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your time and your sincere interest in the success of our working together. The combination of your advanced expertise and genuine engagement in the process had more of an impact than you may realize. Your efforts were extraordinary. My companies’ growth and my personal development directly associated with the professional coaching we worked on together were both exceptional."
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Chief, State of California Office of Child Abuse Prevention
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Editor & Associate Publisher, The Medical Post