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If I had 30 seconds to live, what would I tell my children are the most important things I learned about how to live a happy life?

I am reading a book given to me by my friend Chris Jacob (Krause Funeral Homes,
Milwaukee, WI): Secrets of the World Class – Turning Mediocrity into Greatness by Steve Siebold.

The book asks “If I had 30 seconds left to live, what would I tell my children are the three most important things I learned about how to live a happy life?”

So, I figured why wait until I have 30 seconds to live –and, for that matter, how can I be sure I will know when I get to this point?!  After I sent this to my family, I thought our blog

readers might be interested in thinking about and sharing your thoughts on this subject with the people you care about most.

Here is what I shared with my four children, Katie, Laura, Sarah John Luke, my son in law, Luke, and my wife, Andrea:

4 things I have learned about living a happy life (sorry, I couldn’t come up with just 3):

1.    Kindness. Seek opportunities to be kind to all.  There is much joy in being kind.

2.    Passion.  High intensity of output, commitment, attitude.  Passion puts an exclamation  point on life.

3.    Seek to understand.  Assume the other’s intentions are good.  Forgive and move on.  If someone is genuinely toxic, smile and stay away.  Imagine going through life with open posture and an attitude that says “Help me understand; please tell me more.”

4.    To love and be loved.  This is an extension of passion, but deserves to be called but because having the right people in your life who you love and who love you makes all the difference.

There you are.  If I die today, you will know.  But, if I die in a year, will  you remember  and will it matter?  I hope so.

I love you.
Dad/John

John with the family, from left to right: Luke, Andrea, Laura, Sarah, Katie, John Horan and John Luke

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