There has been an email doing the rounds lately about an Australian nurse called Bronnie Ware who has put together a book based on her experiences caring terminally ill patients with 12 weeks or less to live.
The book - titled ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ - discusses a very poignant point...regret. At the ripe age of 31, I find myself saying “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger” more and more every day.
This ‘wish’ pales in comparison to the many ‘wishes’ uttered by those in Ware’s book.
If you haven’t received the email or read the various news clips about top five regrets she encountered, here they are:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
You often hear the cliche... “Live a life without regrets” but how many of us actually follow through on this?
We all know our time on this earth is limited to a specific number of years...actually how much is unknown. However, you can certainly help improve the probability of living a longer, more productive life without regret by putting a few things in front of your queue of priorities.
Here’s my ‘Top Five Ways To Avoid Dying With Regret’:
- Good health is vital: The best way to ensure you do all the things you want to do is to live longer so you have the time to do them. Considering many degenerative diseases are preventable, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to prioritize your health.
- Love and be loved: Human beings are social creatures and family, friends and interpersonal relationships stimulate our emotional wellbeing to the point that it gives us a sense of being, self-worth and fulfillment. If you’ve been too busy lately to enjoy those people close to you, stop whatever you’re doing and interact with the people who put a smile on your face.
- Work and Play: The age-old saying that ‘good honest work never hurt anyone’ is true...it gets you moving, thinking and doing stuff your body was made for. Like relationships, it also gives you the sense of self-worth...regardless of what you’re actually doing. The same goes for recreation and doing things you love doing. A bit of work and play everyday is a fine blend of the right stuff you need to enjoy life and avoid lying on your deathbed riddled with regret.
- Stand up for yourself, for your beliefs and what’s right: At the end of the day, speaking your mind in a respectful, honest and confident manner is by far one of the best things you can do for yourself. I truly believe this. Society and the ‘PC police’ have unfortunately minced away from this basic human right, depriving people of their own internal voices and forcing their silence with fear and shame.
- Be a teacher and a student throughout your life: You’re never too young to dispense advice and you’re never too old to learn something knew...it’s all up to you and how you choose to give or take the lesson.
Remove regret from your life today
by making a list of everything you regretful about and start making them right...the clock is ticking and there’s still so much living to be done!