Seriously. In that glimmering moment at life’s end, are you really going to chide yourself for not spending enough time at work? Are you going to kick yourself for having been too happy? Are you going to beat yourself up for living too true to your values and beliefs? Are you going to regret having had the courage to stand up for yourself when it was needed? Well surprise, surprise, observations from the dying show that if you’ve lived a full, happy life in line with what matters most to you, you likely won’t have any of these regrets. But here’s the problem: you’d be the exception.
Top 5 Regrets of the Dying
Bronnie Ware is an Australian palliative care nurse who looks after patients in their last 12 weeks of their lives and she wrote powerfully about this. Did most people regret not having enough sex? Nope. Not enough money? Nope again. Here are the five top regrets of the dying:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- The most common regret of all. Most people died not having honored even half their dreams and they died finally realizing that it was due to the choices they made.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- The most common regret for men by far … having spent too much time on the never ending treadmill of work.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- Many people suppressed their feelings to keep others happy…this resulted in bitterness and for many, illnesses, as a result.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- There were many who deeply regretted not giving friendships the time & efforts that they deserved.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
- This was a surprisingly common regret. Simply, many people didn’t realise, until too late, that happiness, like much else in life, is a choice.
What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?
In your last moments, are you going to be one of those who experiences some or all of the top five? When is the right time for you to decide on a different course and make a change? I say NOW…because life is both unpredictable and short. Why not burn bright for the time that you are here?