Thursday, February 16, 2012

Top Five Regrets People Have on Their Deathbed

Bronnie Ware is a nurse who spent years caring for the dying.  She wrote a book called, The Top Five Regrets of Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

 When she asked the dying in their final days if they had any regrets or would do anything differently, these five common themes kept popping up.

Source: dalydose

1.  "I wish I had more courage to be true to myself, not the life others expected of me." 
This was the most common regret.  When people got to the end of their lives, they often reflected back and realized that many of their dreams were unfulfilled.

It is so important to live your authentic life and to go after your dreams, regardless of what others may think of them. 

2.  "I wish I didn't work so hard."
This regret came from every single male patient that she interviewed.  They regret missing spending precious time with their children or spouse at the expense of work.

With its continual urgent deadlines, and the fact that it's what pays the bills, it's incredibly easy to often put work first.  But there must be a balance, and we all need to keep perspective.  The truth is no one has ever sat on their deathbed and regretted that they just didn't work enough.

3.  "I wish I had the courage to express my feelings."
Many of those she interviewed suppressed their true feelings in order to maintain harmony with others.  Often, keeping their feelings hidden manifested in physical illness.

Don't keep everything bottled up inside you.  Express how you truly feel. 

4.  "I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends."
At the end of their lives, many of the dying wished they could reconnect with old friends, but were often unable to track them down.  Many expressed how they got caught up in their own lives and didn't give a lot of friendships the time they deserved.  Many good friendships slip away because of this.

It's really easy in our busy worlds to let friendships slip.  But we must fight to keep those friendships alive.  Pick up the phone and call that old friend you haven't talked to in a while.  Come on, it's not too late.

5.  "I wish that I had let myself be happier."
Many of the dying expressed how they allowed comfort and fear of change interfere with their happiness.

Don't be afraid to be happy.  Be silly, be joyful, and stop worrying about what others think about you.


What do you think of this list?
What can we learn from the regrets of the dying?

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