Regrets, we all have them — things said or done; things left unsaid or undone. Paths that weren’t followed; opportunities missed due to fear or insecurity.
Research shows that a large number of people have reported it was not what they have done but “what they did not do” that was their deepest regrets.
According to Bronnie Ware, a former palliative care nurse who wrote the book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” based on her conversations with the dying, the biggest, most commonly cited regrets at the end of life are — beginning with the most common regret of all:
- One of the most frequently cited regrets at the end of life is not having the courage to be true to oneself but rather doing what others expected.
- Another regret was not having the courage to express one’s feelings and emotions to people they loved or cared for deeply.
- Other common regrets include: working too much, not staying in touch with friends, and taking life too seriously and allowing worries to diminish happiness.
- Many men, at the end of life, say they regret missing out on family time because of excessive work.
Unfortunately, many people find out too late that happiness is an inside job—a choice, not a side effect of living any particular kind of life, and regret taking life too seriously and allowing worries to diminish their happiness.
What Do You Regret?
I don’t regret much that I have done in life. If I had not done what I did I don’t think I would have experienced all the wonderful opportunities and adventures in life that I did. I didn’t take the safe path of a secure job for most of my life. As a small business entrepreneur, your life is always up and down and you can find yourself living on the edge way too often.
For me, it is like what most people say it is not what I did it is what I did not do that I regret. I would still like to live in California by the ocean and to have a relationship with the right divine love partner for me. Fortunately, I can still work on those desires.
Here are a few suggestions that help to eliminate issues that trigger regret:
- First and foremost, it is critical to heal your core wounds and to work on manifesting your life purpose. To me, this is the essential healing work for your life that is necessary so you can live a meaning life. It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams and passions along the way.
- Secondly, simplify your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do so you don’t have to work so much.
- Thirdly, live more in the moment. Eckhart Tolle writes that “Living In The Now” is a major component of happiness, and a significant way to grow in gratitude, both of which also have an impact our health and longevity.
I believe Your Life Is Your Own, Live It the Way You Want.
The take-home message here is this: If you’re currently doing, or avoiding doing something you know you’d regret if you only had weeks left to live, change course now. Don’t wait years or decades. Eventually, you’ll run out of time and will be left holding a bag of regrets.
Your life is your own — you’re the only one who can live it successfully, so follow your dreams and passions, and let go of unnecessary baggage and false limitations. At the end of your life, you’ll realize you don’t care about what other people think of you nearly as much as you believe today, and — if you’re like most — you’ll come to the realization that happiness is, in fact, an ever-present choice.
What do you regret? Have you been able to let go of those past thoughts? Let me know.