Today I wanna share something inspirational again. It is very useful and powerful that can help change your views about life and in yourself. It’s called the top 5 regrets of dying. I got to know this very inspirational story when I finished reading the book called “The One Thing by Gary Keller“. The story goes like this.
Bonnie Ware(the Original author of the book entitled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying) worked on palliative care for so many years. She took care of those patients who had gone home to die. Those who are waiting for their last breath.
Bonnie witnessed the last three to four weeks of her patient’s lives and shared she learned so many things from them. Bonnie shared that people grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. And that’s when she realized that there are 5 common regrets of a dying person.
Here are the top 5 regrets of dying
5. I wish that I’d let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize 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. – Bronnie Ware
This is a very powerful message. When we’re young, wild and free we tend to deprive ourselves for the things that could make us happy. We spent time working and working not realizing we’re also spending our remaining time here on earth.
We tend to stay in our “comfort zone” and fear to make a change, we doubt ourselves for the things we could do and we deprive ourselves for the things that could make us happy.
In the end, we’ll realize there’s not enough time to do the things that can make us happy. Sad.
This #5 regret of dying should remind us that we only have limited time on earth. Choose to be happy and push more to spread happiness.
4. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
Often they would not truly realize 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. – Bronnie Ware
‘Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.’ What a POWERFUL statement.
When we grew up and took our own path we’ll make new friends and we will meet different amazing people in our lives. We should be in touch with the true ones. With our best of friends.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to keep in touch with them and reminisce the “best days” we had.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
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. – Bronnie Ware
In order to achieve real happiness, we should always be true to ourselves. And part of that is expressing our own feelings. Letting other people know what’s really inside you can bring more piece and lasting happiness. Don’t let it happen to you.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
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. – Bonnie Ware
As I always stressed and shared on this blog, family is number 1. Period. All the things and all the money in the world can be yours but if you’re not having a healthy and happy family, it’ll become useless.
Make sure you give quality time to your partner and most importantly to your children. Don’t let your “work” eat your time and your life and later realize you missed so many precious moments with your loved ones. Family is #1, period!
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize 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 honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. – Bonnie Ware
As Bonnie shared, this was the most common regret of all dying persons. And today since you knew, you must do something about it.
Don’t pretend someone else just to please somebody. You and you alone knew what you are and what you really can. As what the famous quote says ” you can’t please everyone“. Just be yourself and you’ll find piece and happiness in your life.
Don’t get trap of the “tribe mentality” where you try to impress the people you don’t like. Just be your true self and not trying to impress everyone around you.
As what Steve Jobs said, “don’t be trap by dogma or living someone else’s life“. Only that time, you’ll have more piece and real happiness.
These top 5 regrets of dying is very powerful. It’s very inspiring. Don’t wait until it’s too late before you make yourself more happier.
Do not wait until it’s too late before you get in touch with your best friends. Do not wait until it’s too late before you have the courage to express your feelings. Do not work so hard before it’s too late to realize you’re missing what really matters in life. And do not wait until it’s too late to have the courage to be true to yourself.
Do not wait until you have these regrets of dying. Life is short. Do not wait until it’s too late before you take action.
P.S. If you’re inspired by this article, kindly share to others to make them realize the most important things in life.
I hope this has been inspirational. Until next time, cheers!