Top 5 End-Of-Life Regrets

Earlier today I was listening to a podcast that mentioned the book 'The top 5 Regrets of the Dying' by Bronnie Ware, an Australian Nurse who spent several years working in Palliative Care. Fascinated by the common responses, I googled the subject after and found an article that discussed the top 5 common themes among all regrets.

I have listed the 5 most common regrets below, along with my own takeaways for those who still have time to change their lives and ensure they DO NOT end up with the same regrets! 

  1. 'I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.'
    • The single most common regret by those looking back on their lives once it is almost over is that they can see how many dreams went unfulfilled. Most people do not honor even half of their dreams. their biggest regret is not taking the actions necessary, and dying knowing that the reason they went unfulfilled was because of the choices they did or did not make.
    • The Takeaway? Start living your life for you. If there is something you have been wanting to do, go out and do it. Stop worrying about  what others may say or think about you because in the end all that matters is what you think about yourself. You need to live your life in a way that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Just because society says we need to get a degree, get a 9-5 Monday-Friday job, save for a house, settle down and get married, have kids, go on a trip etc. DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE THIS WAY! If something inside of you doubts what you are doing please have the courage to walk away from anything that DOES NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY !  I am begging you! & While you still have time, honor yourself and take an action that will get you one step closer to your dream. 
  2. 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard.'
    • Many individuals on their death bed(especially men) regretted prioritizing work over the moments with family that mattered most. They regretted not cherishing more time with their children and spouses.
    • The Takeaway? Make sure you are not so busy making a living that you forget to live your life. Your life is made up of little memories strung together, so ensure you take the time to make those memories and cherish the moments that matter. There will always be more money to be made, and more work to be done. So take a break once in awhile to ensure you are spending time with those that matter most.
  3. 'I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.'
    • Many people regret suppressing their feelings in order to keep peace with others. The result? settling for a mediocre existence that never allowed them to become who they were truly capable of becoming. And interestingly enough(this part gave me chills) many of these individuals developed illnesses directly related to the anger, bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
    • The Takeaway? EXPRESS YOURSELF! Do not be afraid of conflict. Conflict is normal within human relationships and you should be able to discuss your feelings and emotions with those around you. You can not suppress your thoughts, feelings and emotions hoping they will go away. They don't. So whatever is bothering you, discuss it in a respectful way. You will almost always leave the conflict with either a resolution or better understanding. 
      • P.S the only person you are hurting by not voicing your feelings and emotions, is you.
  4. 'I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.'
    • Everyone misses their friends when they are dying, and often at that time it is not always possible to track their old friends down. Many stated that they regret getting so caught up in their own lives that they allowed golden friendships slip away over the years, and not giving the freindships the time and effort they deserved. 
    • The Takeaway? We are ALL busy. You have to MAKE THE TIME to see the friends that are nearest and dearest to your heart. Send them a text, or make a phone call today and set up a coffee date, go for breakfast/lunch or dinner, go for a workout or a walk in the park. Feeling that close sense of connection to individuals around you can do wonders for your overall health and well-being. SO MAKE IT HAPPEN, TODAY!
  5. 'I wish I had let myself be happier.'
    • Many do not realize until the end that happiness is a CHOICE. Many live their lives stuck in old patterns and habits that cause them to be unhappy. So many people choose to stay stuck in these patterns because of the comfort and familiarity it brings, rather than making the necessary changes and embracing the uncertainty and fear that comes with change. Instead, they live their entire lives pretending to others & themselves that they are content, when deep within they long for that joy, laughter and silliness that used to fill their lives.
    • The Takeaway? DO NOT BE AFRAID OF CHANGE! Again if things in your life are making you feel unhappy, stuck and even miserable PLEASE have the courage to let these things go. No matter what your age we all deserve to be happy and joyous and our days should always consist of some laughter and silliness. Stop taking life so seriously and have some fun. Embrace the uncertainty of change and have faith that if you follow your heart you will always be lead in the right direction!

Let these 5 reasons serve as reminder to you, as you still have time to chase your dreams, express your feelings, reach out to friends and wake up and CHOOSE happy. & If you are unhappy? Have the courage to let go of the things that no longer serve you!

With Love and Wellness,

Carly P