More from and about
Bernie Siegel
(biographical info at bottom of page)
Book review:  Prescriptions for Living


We are here to feel, wonder and gaze in awe at the world.
Instead of just teaching our children how to use things
and do things, I suggest we nourish their sense of wonder.


As a doctor, I studied survivors--people who got sick but exceeded expectations. Many of those exceptional patients had been given little time to live, yet they were some of the happiest people I'd ever met. They knew, or they discovered through their illness, which became their teacher, that if you want to be happy, you must answer some key questions. What are you here for? And how do you want to spend your limited time? If your answer is that you are here to love, to serve others and not to be served, then you already have everything you need to be happy. If you wake up in the morning, that's enough; you are grateful for life and the opportunity to contribute in your way.

Think of yourself as a site to be developed. Remember that different sites are suited for different types of development. What is your goal? What resources are available, and what will best fit your site? Look yourself over and get a feeling for your site. Ask for help from developers and landscapers. Then begin construction. Don't worry about what the sidewalk supervisors think about the structure you are building. This structure is going up on your property and you decide what it will be, or you will find no joy in the life you construct.
What did Jeff and the mimosa tree teach me about life? There are times when you must be willing to give up a part of yourself to save your life. In some cases, it means literally giving up a part of your body or the loss of the use of limbs or organs.  How much you regret giving part of yourself up depends on how you define yourself. It is easier to lose parts of your body if you understand your essence and realize you are more than the sum of your parts. You have a spirit and soul that cannot be altered by pruning. Yes, the envelope can be altered and the container can be crushed, but the essence remains unaltered. Your faith and love can continue to exist no matter how badly your physical body is damaged.

Misdirections can be a blessing. If you start off by going the wrong way and meet someone you have been looking for, you end up happy about your mistake.


Don't let mistakes discourage you. A mistake is an opportunity to show
you have heart. Be willing to say you are sorry. If you follow up your
mistakes by doing the right thing, without making excuses, you show
everyone you care about them and are responsible and trustworthy.


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If your gratitude depends on what life gives you or what other
people do for you or to you, you will be disappointed more often
than you are grateful. But you can learn to feel grateful by rethinking
your attitude towards life. First, remember that contentment lies in
giving. If you know that giving is better than receiving, then you
can feel grateful for what you are able to give others.


Second, be grateful simply for being alive. When you are grateful
for life, pure and simple, your life becomes one you can be grateful
for. That may strike you as circular or even backward logic, but
your attitude really does have an effect on how things work out.
When you can't change your life and other way, you can still
change your attitude. When you do, your life changes. You find
more chances to love, and you will be surprised to see
how much more love is returned to you.


We need to learn to love ourselves so we can love others.  But which others?
Our families and friends-- that's obvious.  But does it really matter whether
we love people outside our immediate circle?  Is there any reason to love
our enemies? How about the people who hurt us and our loved ones?
There is just one answer to questions about whom we must love: everyone.
We cannot pick and choose. If we want true peace of mind,
we must try to love all living beings.


Bernie Siegel, MD (Bernie, as he prefers), founded Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECaP) in 1978.  He is one of the world's foremost physicians, authors, motivational speakers and advocates for individuals facing the challenges of all chronic illnesses.

His many articles, best-selling books, tapes and videos serve as a testimony to his loving commitment for those who wish to take an active role in their own healing process.  He and his wife, Bobbie have introduced the concept of individual and group therapy based on "carefrontation," a loving, safe, therapeutic confrontation enabling everyone to understand his or her healing potential.

Motivational, inspirational and down-to-earth, Bernie's approach is one of compassion, caring and love coupled with a wonderful sense of humor.  His message of hope and love is extended to all who seek a whole person approach for living life fully each day.



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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.


Other people: 

Alan Watts
- Albert Einstein - Albert Schweitzer - Andy Rooney - Anne Frank
Anne Morrow Lindbergh - Anne Wilson Schaef - Annie Dillard - Anthony Robbins
Ari Kiev - Artur Rubenstein - Barbara Johnson - Benjamin Disraeli - Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Hoff - Bernie Siegel - Bertrand Russell - Betty Eadie - Booker T. Washington
Charlotte Davis Kasl
- Cheryl Richardson - Cristina Feldman - C.S. Lewis - the Dalai Lama
Dale Carnegie - Deepak Chopra - Don Miguel Ruiz - Earl Nightingale - Elaine St. James
Eleanor Roosevelt - Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross - Ralph Waldo Emerson - Emmet Fox
Frederick Buechner
- George Bernard Shaw - George Santayana
George Washington Carver - Gerald Jampolsky - Harold Kushner
Harry Emerson Fosdick - Helen Keller - Henry David Thoreau - Henry James
Henry Van Dyke - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Henry Ward Beecher - Hugh Prather
Immanuel Kant
- Iyanla Vanzant - Jack Canfield - James Allen - Jennifer James - Jim Rohn
Joan Borysenko
- Joan Chittister - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - John Izzo John Ruskin
Joni Eareckson Tada
- Joseph M. Marshall III - Julia Cameron - Kent Nerburn
Khalil Gibran Leo Buscaglia - Leonard Jacobson - Leslie Levine - Lucinda Bassett
Lydia Maria Child - Lynn Grabhorn - Marcus Aurelius - Marianne Williamson
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Maya Angelou - Melody Beattie - Michael Goddart - Mitch Albom
Mohandas Gandhi
- Morrie Schwartz - Mother Teresa - M. Scott Peck - Nathaniel Branden
Nikos Kazantzakis
- Norman Cousins - Norman Vincent Peale - Og Mandino - Oprah Winfrey
- Orison Swett Marden - Pau Casals - Peace Pilgrim - Phillips Brooks
Rabindranath Tagore
- Rachel Carson - Rachel Naomi Remen - Rainer Maria Rilke
Ralph Waldo Trine - Richard Bach - Richard Carlson - Robert Frost - Robert Fulghum
Robert Louis Stevenson
- Russell Baker - Sarah Ban Breathnach - Shakti Gawain
Soren Kierkegaard - Stephen Covey - Stephen C. Paul - Sue Patton Thoele - Susan L. Taylor
Sylvia Boorstein - Thich Nhat Hanh - Thomas Carlyle - Thomas Kinkade - Thomas Merton
Tom Walsh
- Victor Cherbuliez - Wayne Dyer - Wilferd A. Peterson - Willa Cather
William James - William Wordsworth - Zig Ziglar - Rhonda Byrne - Neale Donald Walsch
Carl Jung
- Desmond Tutu - Paulo Coelho - Jon Kabat-Zinn - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Walt Whitman