Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One

Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One

Summary of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One” by Raphaëlle Giordano: This is Raphaëlle Giordano’s first novel, a savvy blend of fiction and personal development techniques. Using a pleasant narrative style, it offers a multitude of simple tools to teach us how to take steps towards finding joy and fulfilment. It is a guide to transforming your life and making it possible to go out there and conquer your dreams.

By Raphaëlle Giordano, 2016, 217 pages.

Chronicle and summary of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One” by Raphaëlle Giordano

Raphaëlle sets the tone on the title page:

“My dream is that everyone should take full advantage of their talents and responsibility for their happiness. Because there is nothing more important than to live life to the limits of one’s childhood dreams…”

This book tells the story of Camille. At the age of 38, she has every reason to be happy. But she has the feeling that she has missed out on something. That is when she meets Claude, a routinologist. With his original form of guidance and some astonishing experiences, Camille will take back control of her life.

Note: The chapters of the book are untitled. So the titles that appear in this summary were created to mark the storyline and to summarise the main themes of the chapters.  

Chapter 1 – Camille’s accident in the middle of nowhere

It is the end of a long, bad day. It is raining. Camille decides to take the back roads to avoid traffic. The mist on the windows of her car makes for poor visibility. Suddenly, her GPS gives up. Then her car breaks down. The day can get worse: Camille is involved in an accident! Luckily, the young woman is uninjured. She it simply stunned, but she cannot drive again because she has a burst tyre and a dented wing. Alone in the deserted woods, her phone picks up no signal. She begins to feel anxious…

Camille sets off to find help and comes across the gates to a big house. She rings the bell, explains that she has had an accident and that she has no cell phone reception to call for help. Camille doesn’t have time to finish her sentence before the gates are opened. She finds herself in a handsome garden.

The story is written in the first person. The first chapter is a monologue by the narrator, interrupted by her internal voice written in italics. Raphaëlle Giordano draws us into the story very quickly and under the skin of the main character using simple yet effective language. We share Camille’s emotions: annoyance, frustration, anxiety, relief, curiosity…

Chapter 2 – The fateful encounter between Camille and Claude

Your Second Life Begins

Camille meets the man who lives in the house. He is around sixty years old, described by Camille as a kind of Gallic Sean Connery. He invites her in as she is soaked through. Camille offers her a seat while he goes to get a towel for her to dry herself. When his wife arrives, he explains that she has been in an accident and has no mobile reception in the woods. She just needs to make a phone call and recover from her emotion. The wife offers Camille a cup of tea, which she accepts.

The husband returns with a towel. He is called Claude and he shows Camille the telephone. After calling breakdown assistance, Camille tries to contact her husband. He finally answers after several rings. He does not show much sympathy and appears to be annoyed by the inconvenience and concerned about the cost.

Camille is angry at the lack of reaction from her husband. She feels tears building up and her hands begin to tremble. She does not hear Claude behind here and is startled when he places his hand on her shoulder and asks her if she is okay. Camille breaks down in tears. She lets out all “the pent-up frustration that had built up over the previous hours, weeks, months, even…”

Chapter 3 – The revelation

An atmosphere conducive to confession

Camille apologises to Claude who says nothing: she is on edge at the moment. Claude settles into the armchair across from Camille to listen to her:

“Something about him made me feel I could trust him. He looked me straight in the eye. It was not a judgemental, intrusive look, more like a benevolent pair of open arms. Gazing at him, I sensed that I could open up. My inner resistance crumbled. So much the worse. Or so much the better?”

Camille confides in him. She talks about the micro-frustrations that had accumulated and eaten away at her enthusiasm for life, even if she has every reason to be happy:

“It’s not that I’m unhappy, but I’m not especially happy either… It’s so awful, this feeling that joy has slipped through my fingers. “

A bond forms between the two characters. Camille senses that she has touched a chord with Claude. He responds by quoting Abbé Pierre:

“We have as much need of reasons for living as of the necessities of life.”

Then he explains what he thinks she is suffering from: “a kind of acute routinitis”.


Camille is perplexed! Acute routinitis?? Claude explains:

“It’s a sickness of the soul that affects more and more people in the world, especially in the West. The symptoms are almost always the same: a lack of motivation; chronic dissatisfaction; feeling you’ve lost your bearings and everything meaningful in life; finding it hard to feel happy even though you have more than enough material goods; disenchantment; world-weariness…”

Claude now reveals that he is a “routinologist” and explains what “routinology” is: “An innovative method still little-known in France, but already popular in many other parts of the world.” He questions her, laying out his thoughts:

“Don’t you agree that there’s nothing worse than the sense that life is passing you by? Simply because you don’t have the courage to go for what you really want, because you haven’t stayed faithful to your deepest-seated values, to the dreams you harboured as a child? “

A little further on, he adds:

“Unfortunately, developing our capacity for being happy isn’t something we’re taught at school. Yet there are techniques you can learn. You can have lots of money and be really unhappy, or equally not have much but make your existence the sweetest there is. The capacity for being happy has to be worked on, built up day by day. All you have to do is to take a good look at your system of values and re-educated the way you look at life and what’s going on around you. “

Finally, he concludes:

“The things that happen in your mind are full of surprises.  You can’t imagine just how far your thoughts influence your reality.”

The routinologist gives Camille his calling card just as the repair truck arrives. It’s back to reality for Camille.

Chapter 4: Questioning

In this chapter of “Your second life begins when you realize you only have one”, Raphaëlle Giordano shares Camille’s thoughts on the day after her encounter with Claude. The young woman is questioning whether she should follow his guidance:

“Did the anxiety that had held me in its grip for several weeks now really mean I had to embark on a course of counselling? What, in fact, did I actually have to complain about? I had a husband and son, and a job that offered me security.”

She then thinks about her son, Adrien, aged 9. She is trying to set up boundaries for him after a period of being too permissive, and this is affecting their previously good relationship. Her couple has slipped into a dull routine. The overwhelming passion of their early days has given way to friendship and tenderness. And her days are spent running around:

“Hurrying was the huge bugbear of all our lives. It laid down the law, punished us like an all-powerful tyrant, and made us submit to the crushing power of the hands on the clock face. “

Chapter 5 – Camille’s first steps towards change

Your Second Life Begins

First appointment with Claude

One week has passed since her meeting with Claude. Camille is wondering about her life and decides to make an appointment with Claude. She was brought up by her mother who struggled to make ends meet. Camille abandoned her childhood dreams to opt for a more lucrative profession. She has a steady job, is married and has one child:

“So everything was more or less all right. More or less. And it was precisely this “more or less” that made me so keen to go and see Claude Dupontel. A simple “more or less” that concealed some big “why”s and brought with it a whole series of reassessments. As I was about to discover…”

Claude’s method: small, enduring transformations and strong commitment

Claude explains his method:

“… It’s not a conventional counselling method, in the sense that it takes more of a practical approach than a theoretical one. We start from the principle that it’s not within these walls that anyone who wishes to change will discover the truth or understand the meaning of her life. No, it’s only through action, through actual experience.”

Of course this is not a miracle method. It requires time, moving forward little by little:

“… I apply the theory of small steps to help my clients progress gradually. When we talk of change, lots of people imagine something huge and radical, but decisive life changes start with small, apparently insignificant transformations. It may be that sometimes my advice sounds self-evident, almost too obvious. But make no mistake: it’s not managing to do things once that’s complicated; it’s doing them every day. ‘We are what we repeat over and over,’ according to Aristotle. That’s so true.  To become a better, happier, more balanced person calls for regular work and effort.  You’ll find that the difficulty isn’t knowing what you ought to be doing to feel better, but to commit yourself completely and to move from theory to practice.” “

Then Claude suggests a first exercise to Camille. To write down in black and white everything she would like to change in her life, from the most trivial things to the most important ones. Camille agrees and realises that her list is going to be a long one…

Chapter 6 – Self-fulfilment is urgent

After the appointment with Claude, Camille’s world has turned upside down. She thinks about the words of the routinologist.

“Everyone has a duty toward life, don’t you think? To learn to know ourselves, to become aware that time is short, to make choices that matter and that mean something. And above all, not to waste our talents . . . We must fulfil our potential, Camille. Urgently.”

Home again, Camille reflects on her life. Generally, she has no time to take care of her son Adrien, once the homework chores are over. He gets bored and is disappointed that his mother has no time to take an interest in his world. As for her husband Sébastien, he doesn’t really notice her any more.

Camille decides to contact Claude and tell him that she has finally decided to follow his guidance. He answers that he will send her instructions by post. Camille begins a long wait…

Chapter 7 – Mission “Spring-Clean”

After waiting 3 days, Camille finally receives a letter from Claude. A pendant with a white lotus is inside. It is supposed to symbolise the stages she will have to go through to achieve her goals. Each time she crosses a threshold, she will receive a new stone in a different colour.

In his letter, Claude reminds Camille that she is in charge of her own life:

“You’re the one and only person who can change your life. The impetus has to come from you. I’ll be your guide, but I won’t DO anything for you. Write this sentence on a Post-It and look at it every day: “I am the only one responsible for my life and happiness”. “

Claude goes on to give his first instructions. Camille’s first mission is called “Spring-Clean”. She has to clean up both inside herself and in her external surroundings. She sets to the task, under her husband’s bemused eye.

Chapter 8 – Vicious Circle versus Virtuous circle

Your Second Life Begins

The next step is the inner spring-clean. Camille must write on each sheet one part of her life that she no longer wants. Claude also attaches a diagram that explains the principle of the virtuous circle and the vicious circle:

  • “Vicious circle: negative thought > hunched, floppy body position > lack of energy, sadness, discouragement, fears > drifting, apathy, failure to take care of yourself > low self-esteem > “I’m hopeless, I’ll never do it” > closing in on yourself, lack of opening up to others > feeling of getting nowhere > lack of vision, uncertain perspectives. Failure, goals not achieved.”
  • “Virtuous circle: positive thought or “act as if” > dynamic body position (straight back, head held high, smile) > liveliness, communicative enthusiasm > ability to take care of yourself (eat well, exercise, allow yourself pleasure) > high self-esteem, “I’m worth it, I deserve to be happy” > opening toward others, opportunities, network, ability to bounce back > creativity, constructive view of a situation, solutions. Success, goals achieved.”

At their next meeting, Claude takes Camille in a hot-air balloon. He explains positive anchoring: “a technique that allows you to recover at will the physical and emotional feelings you experienced at a particular happy moment.”

Before they part, Claude gives Camille a new exercise: she must make a list of her qualities, everything she knows how to do well and the most successful experiences in her life. He also asks her to draw a portrait of the Camille she wants to become.

Chapter 9: Portrait and games

Camille sets to work on Claude’s exercises: Agreeable, yes.    Ambitious, not enough!  Conciliatory, a little too much. Creative: I used to be… Sensitive, yes, no getting away from it.  Serious and hardworking, out of necessity. Generous, empathetic . . . yes, to some extent. ”

She regularly receives messages from Claude with helpful tips.

“Today you are to fill your day with humour and cheerfulness.  That makes it easier to confront any little obstacles. Try pulling faces in front of the mirror: it’s good for your morale and helps ward off wrinkles. Pull your tongue in all directions and shout, “Whaaa!” Mimic great sadness and great joy like Marcel Marceau, pronounce all your vowels in an exaggerated way, have fun!”

Camille realizes how much this exercise is good for her. It helps to bring her closer to her son. Claude also teaches her the game of the imaginary camera to help her change her perception of reality.

Chapter 10 – The SMART method

The weeks go by and Camille begins to believe in Claude’s method: routine appears less obvious. In this chapter of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One”, Camille asks Claude for advice about shedding her excess weight. Through Claude’s words, Raphaëlle Giordano describes the SMART method.

“You need to make sure that your objective is S for Specific (you have to avoid it being vague) and M for Measurable—in this case, for example, success would be losing ten pounds. Then there’s A for Attainable, defined as being achievable, thanks to a series of short steps; it mustn’t be an ‘unreachable star.’ R for Realistic: to keep you motivated, your objective has to make sense in relation to your personality and your possibilities. And, finally, T for Timely: you need to set yourself a deadline.”

Chapter 11 – Good practice in action

Camille attempts to balance her diet, avoiding cakes and making use of spices to improve her dishes. She begins to realize that it is not so easy to resist temptation, especially when boredom sets in.

In this chapter of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One”, Raphaëlle Giordano introduces us to two new tools:

  • The promises notebook: as its name suggests, it is a notebook in which you jot down all the promises you have made. Write one line per promise and then note whether you have kept it or not. That way you can see your progress.
  • The positive notebook: a diary in which you write down, in alphabetical order, your successes, big and small, and your joys, big and small. This gives a list of positive anchors that is close to hand.

The chapter ends with this reminder from Claude.

“Each resolution has to count. Many people know what they’re supposed to do to lead a happy life but never really put it into practice. It’s not always easy to keep one’s promises. Laziness, tiredness, discouragement are all enemies lying in wait. But keep going: it will be worth it!”

Chapter 12 – Bad atmosphere at home

In chapter twelve, Raphaëlle Giordano focuses on Camille’s home life. On her way from work, she stops to buy a notebook in which to write down her successes. Her good mood is short-lived when she gets home to a sinister atmosphere. Her son has sorely tried the patience of the girl who takes care of him after school and she complains to Camille. Adrien goes to his room to sulk. When Sébastien gets home, he barely looks at her and complains about the disarray in the house. The discussion turns into a fight and Camille leaves the house in tears.

Chapter 13 – The dramatic triangle

Your Second Life Begins

Camille calls Claude after her fight with her husband. After listening closely to her, he offers her several pieces of advice.

First, he explains the principle of the dramatic triangle. It is a negative relationship scenario in which each person can be, in turn, victim, persecutor and saviour. You have to be aware of it to get out of the triangle and reintroduce dialogue.

He also explains the difference between what he calls dry empathy and wet empathy:

“With wet empathy, you take on board the other person’s drama; you absorb their negative emotions and end up in a bad way yourself. Dry empathy, on the other hand, means you manage to hear and share the problems of those around you but you don’t let yourself get contaminated by their dark thoughts.”

The routinologist advises avoiding reproaches and moving your FEET: F for facts (list the facts that are causing the problem), E for emotions (express what you are feeling), E to encourage the other person and T to call a truce (offer a win-win solution).

Chapter 14 – Self-confidence and alignment

In this chapter, Raphaëlle Giordano tells us about another encounter between Claude and Camille. It is the opportunity for another lesson. It is about Camille’s appearance. She considers herself to be overweight. He takes her to a hall of mirrors and shows her that her brain is acting like a deforming mirror. She has to focus on the aspects of her appearance that she likes best and to stop believing that she is unattractive.

“Stop ‘feeding your rats,’ Camille. By your rats I mean your fears, complexes, misconceptions, all that side of you that likes to complain and play the victim.”

Claude explains what will happen when she finds confidence in herself.

“You can only be hurt if you’re vulnerable. The more confidence you have in who you are, the less other people can hurt you. Once you have rebuilt your self-esteem, when you have a life project that properly suits your personality and beliefs, you’ll no longer be afraid. Your positive attitude will buoy you; You’ll be aligned, in harmony with yourself and the world.”

Chapter 15 – Time for yourself

In this chapter, Camille finally finds some time for herself.

Dinner is a success and her son eats his vegetables! Then she agrees to play with him and this delights him. She then turns to the next exercise Claude has given her. It is a list of famous people she admires and she wants to be like. She begins with a list of each person’s qualities. She then prints out photos of the different personalities and makes an inspiring board that she decides to hang next to her desk.

Camille also takes out some old fashion designs and begins to rework them creatively, under the amused eye of her husband. She surprises herself dreaming and wonders whether her husband would support her if she followed those dreams.

Chapter 16 – Operation Big Love

In this chapter, Raphaëlle Giordano looks at Camille’s relationship with her husband. Claude advises her to write an old-fashioned text message, using a few techniques:

“Identify what your nearest and dearest is most interested in. Then brainstorm with all the words and expressions that come to mind in relation to it. Link together unlikely words, invent expressions to produce an appealing message.”

He insists on a rule he calls CQFM:

“Crossed C means no Censorship or Criticism. Q stands for Quantity: you have to come up with a maximum number of ideas. F for Fantasy. Don’t forget that! Jot down even the craziest, most improbable ideas. M for Multiplication. One idea can lead to another, linking together like the gears on a car.”

Chapter 17 – The smile

Claude arranges to meet Camille in a smile bar. He explains the importance of smiling, the influence it can have on herself and those around her.

“Smiling not only means others like you more, it lets you be happier and live longer and in better health as well. “

He explains the notion of the inner smile:

“It’s a smile directed at yourself, a smile that brings inner peace. […] Because that smile is like immersing yourself in a bath of love. Not only does the inner smile boost energy, but it also has considerable healing powers. “

He then offers a method for cultivating the inner smile:

“You can train for a few moments every day. Each time you have a few minutes to yourself, sit down quietly, relax all the tension in your body, loosen your jaw by opening your mouth a little. Become aware of your breathing and how this relaxes you physically. Hold on to that breath and think of it as a kind of internal massage. That’s when you’ll find your inner smile: you’ll feel a profound sense of well-being, of release, of calm. Perhaps you could visualize a flower blossoming in your solar plexus.”

Chapter 18 – A new way to approach work

In this chapter, Raphaëlle Giordano focuses on Camille’s professional life.

The young woman is trying out “acting as if”. This involves adopting a psychological posture that consists of “acting as this is the most exciting job in the world”. Camille’s good mood does not go unnoticed among her colleagues. Camille even invites a colleague she is not very fond of to lunch with the goal, as recommended by Claude, of looking beyond appearances.

“Everyone deserves a chance. You have to suspend judgement and any preconceptions. I challenge you to approach someone you’re not keen on and get to know him or her better . . .”

In the end it is a positive experience and Camille sees her colleague in a new light, far from the image he projects at work in front of his colleagues.

Chapter 19 – 4 months of guidance later: a third, green lotus!

After four months of guidance, it is time for an overview. Claude looks at Camille’s promises notebook and sees that many “done” boxes have been checked. The positive notebook is also quite full:

“S : Successful lunch with Franck, my former office nemesis. T : Treated the whole family to a delicious home-cooked meal. F :  Four men came up to me because they found me attractive. B : Board game with Adrien, a real bonding moment. M : My rose bush has produced a new bloom. “

Claude now gives Camille a new pendant, a green lotus, her third.

Chapter 20 – The grumble jar

Camille continues to follow Claude’s teaching and exercises. She even gets her son and husband involved when she receives a version of a swear-jar. Every time someone has a negative thought or complains, they have to put a euro in the jar. Adrien enjoys this a lot, and is quick to remind his father about it! Camille also tries her hand at positive thinking and positive autosuggestion.

Chapter 21 – The benefits of breathing

In this chapter, Raphaëlle Giordano tells us how Camille learns about and experiments with the importance of breathing thanks to a scuba diving class:

“Whenever you find yourself under stress, concentrate on your breathing and remember what it felt like to be diving underwater. How calm it is below the surface, peaceful, the way you managed your breathing, your self-control. You need to become aware of your breathing even on a normal day. Bear in mind that healthy breathing is not merely breathing in but also the way you breathe out. If you expel all the air in your lungs, that gives them the chance to refill with new air, which will help your body more.”

Chapter 22 – An experience to rekindle the flame

This time, it’s Camille’s turn to play teacher and initiate Sébastien to mindfulness. She takes him out to dinner in a restaurant in the dark. Although both sceptical at first, the experience turns out to be very positive and it brings them closer together.

Chapter 23 – An unexpected way to relax 

Camille continues along her path and tries to learn how to slow down. Claude encourages her to try relaxation and meditation. Camille, who is something of a live wire, doubts that she will succeed. To convince her of the benefits, Claude takes her to see Master Wu, an expert in meditation. After a 45 minute drive, Camille finally meets Master Wu… who turns out to be a magnificent Persian cat lying on a cushion! Stunned at first, Camille notices that watching the cat has a soothing effect.

Chapter 24 – First attempt at a loving relationship

Camille begins to feel better about her life and finds her libido again. She decides to set up a surprise evening for Sébastien. The evening doesn’t exactly go as planned. Sébastien has indeed noticed all the changes going on with Camille and he is afraid he won’t be good enough for her any more.

Chapter 25 – Change in attitude to education and new professional direction

Camille decides to be less stressed about her son and to change her attitude. To motivate her son to do his homework, she treats it like a game:

“From then on I started to help him with his work in a way that was less orthodox but oh so much more fun. For example I used the principle of Grandmother’s Footsteps for the answers to his homework: you can take one step toward the table if you get it right, but go back two if you get it wrong. Or learning lessons through singing. It was a huge success! Not only did Adrien learn three times as quickly, but he also enjoyed himself.”

Camille also decides to tackle the question of her professional life.  She no longer wants to stay in her current job. She finally wants to follow her dreams and create children’s clothes. After conducting research, she finalises her project and drops it off to a start-up incubator.

Chapter 26 – Contradictory, yet liberating feelings

Camille tells her mother about her decision to leave her job and start her own business. As expected, her mother is far from delighted, and even tries to dissuade her.

“Out in the street, a wave of conflicting emotions swept over me. I was sad that my mother didn’t understand me. Annoyed that she never trusted my ability to make a go of something, and yet at the same time liberated because I had had the courage of my convictions. I had been true to my dreams and to the real me.”

Chapter 27 – Believe in yourself and follow your own path, despite those around you

In this chapter of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One”, Claude tackles the mother-child relationship with Camille:

“Every mother is afraid for her child and tries to keep him from suffering, Camille. It’s natural. It’s intrinsic to motherly love. But sometimes that fear can hold the child back. He has to fulfil his destiny and make his own way in life. Until now, you have constantly been trying to win your mother’s approval. You have stifled your own wishes to keep her happy and not let her down. It’s as though all this time you’ve been walking in shoes that pinched. And now that you’re announcing that you want to follow your own path, it terrifies her. That’s only normal. But you have to learn to let her be afraid, not to take it on yourself, and to follow your own destiny. Have faith in yourself. Once she sees you flourishing and happy, she will be happy too, believe me.”

Claude also reminds her of the importance of believing in herself and not letting negative people influence her:

“So be careful, Camille, not to let yourself be influenced by the opinions of those around you. Don’t listen to them. Don’t get discouraged. Even those who love you sometimes project their fears and doubts onto you. Take a good look at the people bringing you down and make sure they don’t contaminate you with their negativity.”

Chapter 28 – Progress and disappointments: the roller coaster of change

Camille finally leaves her job. Now she needs to find a bank that will accept to fund her project. After three refusals, she is discouraged and barges into Claude’s office as she considers him to be responsible for the situation. To help her to find faith in herself, he takes her to a concert in a church. Once reassured, Camille continues her search for a bank and ends up getting a loan.

Chapter 29 – Camille starts her business

Raphaëlle Giordano tells us that Camille has received her funding and has moved forward with her project. The opening of the store is planned for 6 months’ time and Camille is being kept busy. She is even hiring young seamstresses to help her.

Chapter 30 – Reconciliation with her father

This chapter of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One” is about Camille’s reconciliation with her father. He left her mother when she was very young. With hindsight, Camille realizes that he was too young to be a father. He did what he could to help her mother financially in so far as he could.

“After my phone call to my father, I felt much lighter. It was as though I had cut the rope dragging a line of heavy barrels along in the wake of my boat, holding it back.”

Chapter 31 – Serenity and a date

Camille feels more serene since her reconciliation with her father. In her relationship too. She receives another letter from Claude making an appointment in a place called “L’Espace Mille et Cents Ciels” When she gets there, she does not see Claude, but she does bump into Sébastien. In fact, he dreamt up the whole surprise, with Claude’s help. The couple spend an excellent afternoon and evening together.

Chapter 32 – Fashion Fairies – a new start!

Camille is busy with the final preparations and is looking for a name for her store. She holds a brainstorming sessions with some friends and other acquaintances. After several suggestions, in the end Fashion Fairies is the chosen name.

Chapter 33 – Camille’s boutique and Claude’s surprise

In this chapter, Raphaëlle Giordano describes the opening of Camille’s boutique. Claude has a new surprise in store for Camille. The designer Jean-Paul Gaultier has agreed to appear and turn the opening into a media event.

Chapter 34 – Unexpected revelations…

In the penultimate chapter, Claude reveals something to Camille. In fact, he is not a routinologist, but an architect!

“Routinology as such is an invention.  In reality it’s a kind of mutual aid chain, a way of passing on success: whoever has been helped becomes a routinologist in turn and has to choose another person to help and pass on everything he or she has learned.”

He went through a similar experience to that of Camille. After a disastrous break-up, Claude set aside his dream of becoming an architect until the day he met the person who helped him to find the right path.

Chapter 35 – Full circle!

The final chapter closes the circle!

On an evening of rain and traffic jams, Camille feels good about herself, “aligned”. Suddenly another car crashes into her. Luckily, Camille has just a few scratches. The woman who crashed into her apologies and bursts into tears: she reminds Camille of the person she used to be in the past… Camille suggests they take a hot chocolate together while waiting for the repair truck. She listens to her and then hands her a calling card, explaining that she is a routinologist…


In a bonus at the end, Raphaëlle Giordano offers a “Pocket dictionary of routinology words and phrases”. We find the definitions of all the different techniques and methods proposed throughout the book:

  • Positive anchoring
  • Imaginary camera
  • Art of modelling yourself
  • Promises notebook
  • Positive notebook
  • Inner catalogue of positive images and memories
  • Inner dialogue
  • Red card
  • Elastic Bands
  • Amorous creativity
  • Steam off stamps
  • Wet empathy
  • Dry empathy
  • Act as if
  • FEET
  • Moments of gratitude
  • Be a cat
  • The list of your positive experiences and your qualities
  • The SMART method
  • Mission Spring-Clean
  • Reproach Machine Gun
  • Feeding your rats
  • Positive thoughts and a positive attitude
  • Power songs
  • Deep breathing
  • Swear Jar
  • Inner smile
  • The theory of small steps
  • Dramatic triangle

Conclusion of “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One” by Raphaëlle Giordano

In “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One”, Raphaëlle Giordano offers an original and ingenious concept. It is a light and easy-to-read novel that cleverly invites us to question our own lives and reveals a multitude of tools for personal development.

This book offers the keys to understanding and techniques to begin your own profound life change

It is probable that readers who have already read a certain number of books on the topic of personal development will find these techniques and tips somewhat stereotypical and banal. Nevertheless, this book by Raphaëlle Giordano remains a pleasant read that will be very useful for people with less experience in these matters. People who feel that their life is passing them by will see a concrete illustration of how to begin to change their life. Firstly, it is easy to identify with the situations and with Camille herself (her doubts, her dreams, her self-questioning). Secondly, because the techniques described (and summarised at the end of the book) are easy to apply in “real life”. They are an interesting first step towards the goal of self-realignment.

A simple, yet efficient “feel-good” book

Also, the story may be considered naive; full of fine sentiments and candy floss, but other people may appreciate the joy and the positivity that Raphaëlle Giordano exudes in this well-written and easy to read work of fiction. Even though the storyline is simple, a blend of coaching and fiction is a formula that, in the eye of the critics, works when it comes to moving forward, step by step, along the path to transformation.

All in all, this best-seller – more than one million copies sold in France and worldwide – is a feel-good book that I would particularly recommend for people who want to change their lives and are starting out in their discovery of personal development.

Strong Points:

  • The blend of fiction and tools for personal development means that we can enjoy the read while learning techniques to apply to ourselves to change our lives.
  • The book invites us to take stock of the meaning in our lives and offers keys to move towards readjustment.
  • The dictionary at the end offers a summary of all the interesting tools described over the course of the novel.

Weak points:

  • Several theoretical passages that slow down the narration.
  • The plot is pretty simple.
  • Uneven developments: some chapters are almost entirely theoretical and others not at all. Some tools are very detailed and others hardly at all.

My rating : Jeff Walker launch Jeff Walker launch Jeff Walker launchJeff Walker launchJeff Walker launchJeff Walker launchJeff Walker launchJeff Walker launchJeff Walker launch

Have you read “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One”? How do you rate it?

Mediocre - No interestReasonable - One or two interesting paragraphsIntermediate - Some goods ideasGood - Had changed my life on one practical aspectVery Good - Completely changed my life ! (No Ratings Yet)


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