When author Daniel Parmeggiani’s family’s foundation crumbled after the death of his older brother, he lost his carefree childhood at age five. The only child left at home, he couldn’t seem to make things better, and there was no escape from the house racked with grief. This insightful book details the path he found to self-discovery and happiness and offers advice to others on how to find the same.
Beginning with such childhood hardships, we root for Parmeggiani as he becomes emboldened and pulls himself out of a desperately dark life. While he is unable to change the past, in time he comes to realize that, by looking inward, he can reframe what he cannot change. He can forge ahead knowing “I am always doing the best I can with what I know.”
Along with Parmeggiani, we begin to understand the power of motivation and self-sacrifice needed to undergo meaningful change. While one can’t simply decide to be happy, he teaches us how our interpretation or perception of events can change.
He notes, for example, that we are hardwired to seek pleasure and avoid pain in any situation. This is the complex concept that forms the basis of the “truths” in the book’s title. In daily decision-making, Parmeggiani suggests using a series of four simple questions all based on “What would make me feel better?”
Despite the powerful human behavior topics explored, this book is highly readable for a general audience, and the author’s personal story is riveting. Parmeggiani’s insights into the concept of harmony in Chapter 6 are best read slowly, since the desire for harmony explains so much of our behaviors.
The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence combines a moving personal story with the author’s earnest motivation to help people change. It includes useful exercises to get readers started, raises awareness of the power of forgiveness and helps readers make peace with the past, present and future.
Also available as an ebook.