An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, spent many years working in palliative care comforting the dying during their final moments. It was during these final, intimate moments with her patients that Bronnie witnessed the often incredible wisdom and transformation that a person undergoes when faced with their own mortality. A lot of people will often talk about what they would do differently if they were to have their life over.
The patients Bronnie cared for were no different. After years spent talking with patients, it became apparent to Bronnie that many people often expressed similar regrets of what they wish they’d done differently throughout their own lives.
Below are the top 5.
Having regrets isn’t always such a negative thing. When we choose to see them as the valuable life lessons that they are, we are put in the powerful position of being able to change our today for a better tomorrow.
So think of these as your compass for life; let them help to guide your daily actions and choices so that when your time comes, you can look back and say – “I have no regrets”.
From a young age, we grow up looking to those around us to lead the way and show us how we should and should not behave. From our parents to society as a whole, we change and shape ourselves to satisfy the expectations of others.
But how many dreams, goals or passions do we sacrifice as a result?
Learn to march to the beat of your own drum. An authentic life is a happy one.
No one has complained about not spending more time in the office whilst on their deathbed.
In our society money is at the top of most people’s priorities and competition in the workplace is fierce. However, sometimes you have to gently remind yourself of the bigger picture… What memories are you going to want to fondly look back on in your twilight years?
The hours of overtime you put in plugging for a promotion or evenings spent with loved ones…your children?
Pay attention to the things that matter.
Have you ever bitten your tongue, kept your peace or missed out on an opportunity for true happiness in order to keep others happy?
Expressing your truth is important for not only your own health but the health of your relationships. When you stifle your feelings in order to keep the peace with others, resentment can grow – or worse still, you jeopardize your chances for true happiness.
So – never miss an opportunity to let someone know how you feel; to tell someone that you love them or let someone know when they’ve hurt you.
Supportive, nurtured relationships are paramount to our happiness. Despite this, it can become all too easy to let close friendships slide as a result of a hectic lifestyle.
However, in a modern age such as ours, there are countless ways to stay connected to the ones we love – through text, email, social media, the telephone, and most importantly of all, face-to-face.
In light of death, it becomes crystal clear that everything comes down to our relationships and love. These are by far the two things that matter most. So keep your loved ones close and never turn down an opportunity for friendship.
What makes YOU happy?
It is not until it’s too late that many people are hit with the realization that, in fact, happiness is a choice.
Ultimately, we all get to choose how we spend our time, who we spend our time with and how we feel in response to life’s events.
Life may throw us a curveball from time to time, but with the realization that our lives are what we make of them, we can dodge them with far greater ease.
When your life is coming to its end, you won’t be concerned with what others think of you.
The things you thought you feared before will no longer be of any consequence to you. So why let these things stand in your way now? While anything is still possible for you?
Learn to let go, enjoy life on your terms and live out your definition of happiness. What have you got to lose?
Looking at the top 5 regrets of the dying, what lessons do you think you could begin to incorporate into your own life, starting today?
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