I am grateful to my good friend, S. She is really great about sending me stuff to read and learn from. She sent me a link the other day about the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed, written by a palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware.
And 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 didn’t work 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.
In reading this, I can understand why these are regrets. I feel that they are so connected in many ways. Personally, I am glad to have worked on all five of these over the years.
For #1, I actually rebelled while in college during my undergrad work. My parents really wanted me to be a doctor, and I did want to be one at one point, and was able to be a part of a competitive program. However, I found out something else I wanted to do while in college, and I remember that time being very difficult and strained. In time, my parents understood. In recent years, I have become much truer to myself and have started to lead a more authentic life.
The next one, #2, is the hardest one for me and I am still working on that. I have the workaholic gene, I think. HaHa. However, I am learning to balance my life–to spend more time in pursuit of things I love to do and to spend more time with those I care for.
Expressing feelings, #3, is easy for me, but not so easy with the opposite sex if I am interested in them. So, this is a work in progress.
I do not have a problem with #4. I stay in touch with my precious friends.
For #5, I do my best each day to lead a happy life. I believe that is how we should live.
I used to mentor pre-teens and teenagers and I would often tell them (and my cousins and sister) to do what they love to do and not regret their life. I think it is important for them to hear this so that they can make a good choice about how to lead their happy lives. Bronnie Ware ended the article with these words that ring so true to me, “Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”
I am grateful that Bronnie Ware wrote an article on the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed, in hopes that others could really look at their lives to see if there is anything they can change to live a very authentic, fulfilling, and happy life.