The Wizard of Oz is one of the most watched films of all time. Look closely and you’ll see that it contains valuable life lessons for any stage of life, including retirement. Peter Guzzardi joins us to discuss his book, Emeralds of Oz: Life Lessons from Over the Rainbow, which details nine Emeralds of Wisdom, along with 52 life lessons.
He joins us from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
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Peter Guzzardi has worked in publishing for more than forty years. Prominent books he has edited include Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Queen Noor’s Leap of Faith, Susan Cain’s Quiet, and Douglas Adams’s Mostly Harmless. And he’s the author of Emeralds of Oz: Life Lessons from Over the Rainbow. An independent editor and writer, he lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
For More on Peter Guzzardi
Website (Download the handy Postcard of the 9 Emeralds and a Worksheet to apply them)
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“Definitely the best book I’ve read on the non-financial aspects of retirement.”
“This is a great gift for anyone anticipating retirement years”
On the Lesson That’s Helped Him the Most
“I think in some ways the one that’s hardest for me to absorb kind of stands out. And that’s Number Five: You Already Possess What You Desire Most. And of course Dorothy’s companions are classic examples of that in the most wonderful way. But to take that in, what does that really mean for me? What does that mean for you? It’s really profound. We’re rushing around looking outside ourselves for the things that we think matter most for money, for success, For me it might be courage. I tend to suffer from anxiety. And so courage. I would never think of myself as a courageous person but this Emerald is telling me I am a courageous person and that courage, I’m not going to find it elsewhere.”
“The notion that there are no mistakes, only lessons. And that’s so huge. When I grew up and it was all about getting the answers right in school and not making a mistake. And what you really don’t want to be is wrong. But what if you could just remove that? And what if it’s just that life is a series of experiments and explorations and it’s not going to be right or wrong, it’s just you’re going learn from them. So I’m going to take a different approach next time. What a relief that would be to be able to approach life that way.”
On the Beginner’s Mind
“As I look at the Emeralds, the first one is Listen to Your Longing. And that’s from the amazing moment in the barnyard where Dorothy begins to sing. And what a valuable place to start that is for all of us to listen to that longing. What is it we long for? But the second one is See the Situation As If For the First Time. And that one comes from the moment when Dorothy steps out into Munchkin Land because the expression on her face is just this appreciation for the miraculous. It’s like, Oh my gosh. And she’s so open to it. And this is something that in Buddhism is called Beginner’s Mind. This notion that if we can try to separate ourselves from our biases, from our sense that we know how this is going to turn out, even if it’s as mundane as your commute to the office. If you can just take out that notion that you know what it’s going to be like and approach it as though it’s kind of a miraculous thing that all these cars are flowing in the same direction. And look at the light d, the autumn leaves. It’s a way to breathe the miraculous back into your life, which just takes a little focus, a little concentration and awareness as all of these bits of wisdom do. One of the wonderful things about this interview is I had to go back and remind myself. We all stumble across wisdom and we think, Wow, that’s great. That’s really gonna help me a lot.”
About Your Podcast Host
Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet.