Today, we will meet Dr. Alex Jadad, someone who is living his life as a love story. He is also daring us to imagine a world in which everyone could enjoy a life full of love, healthy and happy, until the last breath, as part of a thriving planet. As soon as we meet Alex, we will recognize the curious inner child, the teacher, the learner, the physician and the healer who live in him, urging us to think of ways to make it happen, while marvelling at the wonderful mysteries of life.
With Alex, we will learn about possibilities to re-design our lives as love stories, and to bring love to our families, to our workplaces and to our communities, so that we can discover, recover and uncover our capacity to love ourselves and the world, no matter what happens.
He will ask us very deep and unusual questions about who we are, questions that will help us to embrace the liberating power of love.
Come along. There is no reason to worry. After all, nobody else will ever be able to hear us.
All this and more on today’s episode. Now, That’s Unusual.
About Alex Jadad
Physician, educator, researcher and public advocate Dr. Alex Jadad is the founder of the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation and Director of the Institute for Global Health Equity and Innovation at the University of Toronto. His research seeks to improve the capacity of humans to imagine, create and promote better approaches to living, healing, working and learning as part of a sustainable planet as he identifies and connects the best minds, best knowledge and best tools across traditional boundaries to eliminate unnecessary suffering.
Dr. Jadad has received numerous awards, among them Health Canada’s National Health Research Scholars Award, the New Pioneers Award in Science and Technology and Health Canada’s Distinguished Lecturer Award. He has been featured by Time magazine as one of the Canadians who will shape the country in the 21st century, and as one of the leading medical researchers in Canada.
Dr. Jadad is also the author of The Feast of Our Life: Preparing to Flourish Through Self-Love, a text that furthers his mission to enable people to live healthy and happy lives, full of love, until the last breath. Inspired to live his life as a love story, Jadad advocates that we, too, reconnect with ourselves, eradicate regret and embrace the liberating power of love.
Key Interview Takeaways
Selfishness and self-love are opposites rather than synonyms. Though Jadad concedes that we often assign self-love a negative connotation, it is impossible to love others if you don’t love yourself. Much like the flight attendant’s instructions to put on your own oxygen mask first and then assist others, we must protect ourselves before we can adequately protect the people we love.
The opposite of fear is love. Because we are afraid of what we might find if we engage in serious conversation with ourselves, we choose to avoid dialogue with our inner voice and miss out on the most important relationship of all – the one with ourselves.
Of the five fears (death, failure, vulnerability, ridicule and disappointing others), the anxiety of letting people down fuels the idea that there is a gap between what others expect us to be and what we are, creating yet another barrier to self-love. Only by pressing the pause button and connecting with ourselves can we discover, uncover and recover our capacity to love ourselves first.
Who would you invite to be a part of your personal board of directors? Nobody can hurt you more than you, so it is important to establish a cadre of people you trust “to love you most when you deserve it least,” protecting you from you and supporting you at your weakest.
The path to self-love begins by answering three important questions:
- What is non-negotiable?
- What is your verb?
- What do you regret the most?
Once you discover the thing that tickles your soul more than anything else, choose an action connected to that non-negotiable. This self-discovery coupled with the elimination of regret will allow you to live in the moment and love yourself.
Invoke the Gabriella Test. When Jadad’s granddaughter Gabriella cries, the whole family jumps to make her comfortable. What if we did that for ourselves? The next time you don’t feel joyful, ask for support and do something about it!
“Nothing really matters apart from what matters to us. Therefore, we must be very careful as to what we choose to matter to us.” We have the delusion that we can control events, and this notion feeds our ego. The truth is, we are not important at all, and the only thing we can control is our perception and response to happenings. Happiness doesn’t come from trying to change the future, but by doing what we love in the present.
Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence invites us to imagine that we are offered the opportunity to relive our life an infinite number of times – without being able to change anything. Would you take it? What if you live your life in such a way that the answer would be ‘yes’?
Learn More About Alex Jadad
Beati Inc. (Re-designing lives)
Wikipedia Page (Alejandro R. Jadad Bechara)
Unlearning (Paperback) by Dr. Alejandro Jadad
“The Seven Stages of Ignorance” by Murray Enkin
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