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.


Top 5 Regrets