The Two Most Important Days
How to Find Your Purpose - and Live a Happier, Healthier Life
What are the two most important days in your life? "The day you are born and the day you find out why," Mark Twain famously wrote.
The search for happiness is hardwired in our DNA. It transcends age, gender, geography, vocation, and personal circumstances. But how do you achieve it?
Through inspirational storytelling, scientific evidence, practical advice, captivating exercises, and poetry, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild present a powerful message that shows you how to achieve happiness no matter the challenges and stumbling blocks you face along the way. They also reveal the best way to be happy: Discover and live your life’s purpose. It’s a sure path to human flourishing. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that living with purpose can even add years to your life.
Do you know your life’s purpose? This book offers a path to discovering it by illuminating the value of gratitude, forgiveness, meditation, music, friendship and so much more. It will set you on the right path and spark sustained happiness, joy and bliss.
Praise For The Two Most Important Days: How to Find Your Purpose - and Live a Happier, Healthier Life…
“This book is a refreshing refuge from simplistic happiness prescriptions. The treasures found here illuminate the moment to moment choices we can make to build immunity and well being as we take a stand on what matters most.”
—Ellen Wingard, Global Leadership Coach for Social Impact
“Radiating a sense of joy and wonder throughout its pages, this book inspires reflection and offers simple yet important changes that will bring renewal and purpose to one’s life. Grounded in science, it illuminates a path forward with practical and engaging exercises and inspirational poetry.”
—Andrew Carroll, New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of the American Poetry & Literacy Project
“This majestic book has much wisdom to savor and practical steps to help you navigate life's many forks. I promise it will delight!”
"Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild have gracefully woven the wisdom of generations and recent scientific research into a delightfully practical understanding of how each of us can achieve happiness—and, more important, how we can share it with others. You will definitely find yourself saying, 'Wow, I can do that!' And smiling to yourself."
—Richard Celeste, Former Governor of Ohio and U.S. Ambassador to India
"This delightful book will instruct and entertain. I can't think of anyone who would not find this useful; for many a reader it will be life-changing."
—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
"Everyone will find warm, down-to-earth, commonsense approaches to making life richer and more satisfying. You will be inspired as you read it cover-to-cover and then return for practical reminders of what you can do today, in this moment, to bring more joy and meaning to your life."
—Robert Waldinger, M.D., Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development
“As someone in the business of helping people to discover, uncover and claim their most passionate life, I thought I’d read everything on the subject. Not so! I was waiting for this perfectly inspiring and exquisitely uplifting book.”
—Debbie Phillips, founder, Women on Fire®
“The Two Most Important Days is a trove of powerful insights, exquisitely chosen poetry, and profoundly instructive quotes that evoke an authentic path to human happiness that I can reference and share for years to come.”
—Christine Roess, cofounder of Cybeleum Consulting
“Few books contain the wisdom and insights to be truly life-altering for the reader. This is one such gem of a book. Full of powerful, proven concepts woven together with engaging inspirational stories, The Two Most Important Days is a must-read for anyone committed to their own happiness and the happiness of those they love.”
—Adrian Wilkins, author of The Way of the Superior Dentist
“The Two Most Important Days, by Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild, delivers the welcome news that happiness, which can feel so elusive at times, is truly within our grasp. The book soars high with inspiring philosophy and poetry and at the same time is grounded in fascinating studies, neuroscience, psychology, and surprising facts. It also offers doable exercises to help readers discover their life’s purpose, feel gratitude, and achieve sustained happiness. TheTwo Most Important Days is definitely at the top of my gratitude list!”
—Meta Wagner, author of What’s Your Creative Type?: Harness the Power of Your Artistic Personality
“We all chase this illusive thing called Happiness throughout our lives. Sanjiv and Gina prescribe a simple recipe of practicing Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Compassion to achieve it. Their prescription is backed by research. They explain the simple concept with so many examples that it is hard not to internalize it and accept it by the time you reach the end of the book.”
—Desh Deshpande, serial entrepreneur, founder of Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT
“The Two Most Important Days takes the reader on an adventurous journey of wisdom, stories and inspirations leaving one with much to reflect on and much to be looking forward to in this world. I had a smile on throughout reading this book, for it was a true joy not only to learn from that which has been shared but to also feel the sincerity and beauty of its authors.”
—Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, author, and media personality
“As the world gets more connected, Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild remind us of the most important connection: with yourself. The Two Most Important Days contains beautiful aphorisms about purpose, an impressive encapsulation of research, and inspiring stories. Read this book. It will make you happier.”
—Bharat Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, author The Content Trap
“[This book] is a treasure trove, a feast providing both inspiration and practical guidance for a truly fulfilling life. Combined into a single, small, highly readable volume, readers will find the wisdom of ancient sages and the discoveries of modern science, uplifting poetry and deeply moving personal stories, practical tips, and suggested resources—a true gift you will both richly enjoy and want to share with others.”
—Lachlan Forrow, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, President Emeritus, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
“Through wisdom and exercises, satisfying both head and heart, authors Dr. Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild have created a pithy compilation of life meaning and purpose—a book you can open to any page on any day and find ways to manifest your unique path.”
—Kyra Bobinet, M.D. MPH, author of Well-Designed Life, CEO, engagedIN, Consulting Faculty, Stanford School of Medicine
“In The Two Most Important Days, Sanjivand Gina cleverly combine scientific research, poignant stories, and insightful strategies for making the most of your life on earth and being happy. While sharing how best to love and live with purpose, they also pleasantly pepper you with a range of relevant poems, philosophies, and quotes.”
"We’ve come a long way since Mark Twain penned that famous phrase. Sadly, few of us ever experience that second day. This wonder-filled book is your best bet to change this. Read this book and find out why you are here.”
—Scott Snook, MBA Class of 1958 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
“The most practical, comprehensive, and evidence-based guide to happiness I’ve ever read! In this book, Chopra and Vild not only map out the essential ingredients of happiness, but make a compelling case for how finding your purpose and living with it is essential in our quest for joy and fulfillment. A must-read that can change your life!”
—Elan Divon, author, spiritual teacher, and cofounder of The Einstein Legacy Project and Genius 100 Visions, the world’s first 3D printed book
“This book is a gem: a timely offering on a timeless topic, chock-full of time-tested ideas. Don’t just read it; inhale it!”
—Vikas P. Sukhatme, Woodruff Professor and Dean, Emory School of Medicine
“A rich tapestry made with ancient wisdom, poetry, philosophical treatises, and interlaced with cutting-edge psychology, neurobiology, and internet communication. Chopra and Vild have woven a beautiful map complete with practical guidelines for those hoping to find happiness. It is a necessary compendium for those who wonder what to do next after hearing Joseph Campbell’s advice—‘find your bliss.’ I was inspired. I had fun reading it. You should try it.”
—Sum P Lee, M.D. Ph.D, professor emeritus of Medicine, University of Washington; Dean of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, and cofounder of Center for Humanities and Medicine (2008–2013)
“What does happiness mean in today’s digital world? In this wonderful book, Vild and Chopra explain why clicks and likes aren’t enough. Instead, happiness comes from a deeper place of meaning and purpose that is not as elusive as it sounds. In The Two Most Important Days, they show exactly how to create happiness that is authentic, inspiring, and sustainable for anyone willing to open themselves to ask the questions and take the journey.”
—Mark Bonchek, Ph.D., CEO of Shift Thinking
“Pursuing happiness is indeed the holy grail of human pursuit . . . yet elusive foremost. Sanjiv and Gina bring true happiness within our grasp with simple, wonderfully illustrated steps using self-awareness, service, and kindness . . .a delightful, happy, purposeful read.”
—Venkat Srinivasan, author of The Intelligent Enterprise in the Era of Big Data
“This is a fun book to read that certainly increased my HQ (Happiness Quotient). It is packed with touching stories, the latest data from neurobiology, moving poems, and brilliant quotes and aphorisms. But most important, it offers practical advice to help you become a happier and more fulfilled person. The book ends with 'Seven Simple Steps to a Happier You,' and you discover, with the wise Rumi, that the strategy is to change yourself and not the world. In the process you may actually end up making the world a better place for all.”
—Peng Fan, M.D., professor of Clinical Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Thomas Dunne Books, 9781250119360, 288pp.
Publication Date: December 26, 2017
About the Author
Gina Vild is the associate dean and chief communications officer for the Office of Communications and External Relations at Harvard Medical School. She lives in Boston and is coauthor of Two Most Important Days.