or at your
Published by Atria
A division of Simon & Schuster
In the ten years since its original
publication, The Four Things That Matter Most has changed the
lives of thousands who have turned to it for guidance and comfort.
Now updated for its tenth anniversary with a new introduction by the
author, this edition also contains new, inspiring stories from
readers who have benefited from using the Four Things to mend a wide
range of relationships before it was too late.
Four simple phrases: "Please forgive me,"
"I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you" -- carry enormous
power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These
four phrases and the sentiments they convey can help us resolve
interpersonal difficulties with integrity and grace.
In The Four Things That Matter Most,
Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, explains
how we can practice these life-affirming words in our day-to-day
lives and improve our emotional well-being. He demonstrates the
value of "stating the obvious" in letting the people we love know
that we love them and provides practical insights into the benefits
of letting go of old grudges and toxic emotions.
Dr. Byock's insights and stories help us
to forgive, appreciate, love, and celebrate one another, enabling us
to live life more fully. He also shows that, through the very end of
life, surprising degrees of emotional healing are possible. We can
experience a sense of wholeness even in the wake of family strife,
personal tragedy, or divorce, or in the face of death.
With practical wisdom and spiritual power,
The Four Things That Matter Most gives us language and
guidance to honor and experience what really matters most in our
lives every day.
ife can be difficult. Relationships are often difficult. However,
after 20 years’ experience with patients and families facing
profound challenges, Dr. Ira Byock
has seen that four simple phrases
can help us through the unpredictability of daily life.
"Please forgive me,"
"I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you."
he Four Things are everyday guides for doing the right thing, for
reconciling the rifts that divide people, and for cutting through
old history—because you just never know.
Powerful real-life stories culled from
Dr. Byock’s and other counselors’ patients who used the Four Things
in all sorts of life situations show the possibility of
interpersonal healing and wholeness, even in the wake of tragedy or
the face of death. From a granddaughter’s last days with her
ailing grandmother to a teenage girl’s first hour with her estranged
father, these stories are “Every Day with Morrie”, enabling
readers to imagine how they can use the Four Things in their own
These eleven words can improve all
relationships—at any time. Using the Four Things, Dr. Byock also
reclaims the traditional meaning of “good-bye” as “God be with
you”—a blessing that we all can use, whether parting from someone
for an hour, a day, or at the end of a lifetime.
M.D., is a nationally recognized
authority in palliative and end-of-life care and longtime advocate on
behalf of seriously ill people and their families.
His essays have appeared
in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and his
work has been featured on Nightline, All Things Considered,
HBO’s Letting Go, and the New York Times Magazine.
For more information visit
Dr. Byock's website at
"This beautiful book, full of wisdom and warmth, teaches us how to
protect and preserve our most valuable possessions --the
relationships with those we love. It shows that the things that
matter definitely aren't 'things,' and how to empower your life in
the right direction."
-- Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"
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