I don’t think death or dying is a comfortable topic for anybody, and why should it be? It is such a sad time for anyone when they loose a loved one and it is as everybody knows..very final. We all would love to think we have long and healthy lives ahead of us, a wish I hope for everyone, however you never know when your time will be up. I don’t think that should be a morbid thought however – in fact I use it to inspire me. To live with no regrets and make each day exciting, loving, and really ake each day count. I stumbled upon an incredibly profound and inspiring article in Good Health magazine talking about the Regrets of the dying. If there was ever any advice you can draw inspiration to live more fearlessly and truer to yourself it is that of people who are at the end of their life – and sharing what they wished they did differently … here is that advice brought to you by author Bronnie Ware with commentary by me.
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”
Bronnie: ‘This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made’.
Me: It is SO important to try to honour your dreams, do what you love in life, not be dictated by others opinions or living other peoples lives or expectations. Remember from the moment you loose your health – it can be too late so start living your true life that you’re meant to be living now, not tomorrow.
” I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”
Bronnie: ‘This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.’
Me: I just don’t think it’s worth working yourself in to the ground your whole life to enjoy retirement when you’re too old to really actually enjoy it. Instead, I aim to have mini retirements my whole life – travel when I’m young, live hard & fast, so I never look back wishing I hadn’t worked so hard and missed out on breathe taking, awe inspiring experiences and opportunities throughout my whole life – not just at the end of it.
“I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings”
Bronnie: Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
Me: I have a theory in life – that I don’t mind if I don’t know what others think about me (it’s none of my business anyway) but I always ensure that everybody knows exactly how I feel about them – that I love them, that I am lucky to have them in my life. I use handwritten letters and birthday & Christmas cards to remind people whenever I get a chance of my feelings. What are you doing to make sure this isn’t a regret at the end of your life?
“I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends”
Bronnie: “Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
Me: I think maintaining ANY relationship is incredibly important for your well being – life is richer and a lot more fun shared so make sure you are working on your own relationships no matter how busy you think life is for you (advice I need to listen to myself!)
“I wish that I had let myself be happier”
Bronnie: “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
Me: Happiness is a choice. YOUR choice. You are the only person responsible for your own happiness, and it isn’t a choice you make just once, you have to make that choice every single day you’re alive. What do they say? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans – it’s so true. Life can be a struggle sometimes and things are certainly not always fair, but there are always lessons to be learnt, new days for fresh beginnings and beauty in the mundance. Don’t have this regret on your own death bed – choose happiness.
So there you have it. The Top 5 regrets. I wish for each and every one of you that you live with no regrets and always have love & fun surrounding you in your life. xx