Bronnie Ware is a palliative care nurse in Australia who recorded in her blog her patients realizations as they were dying. Her blog became so popular and interesting to others that she made it into a book called, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. For the full stories read the book, but these are the lessons in a nutshell.
“When questioned about any regrets they had, or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again,” Ware reported.
Here are the top five regrets of the dying according to her observations:
1) I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”
2) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. …They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners.” Women in this generation can have that same regret now more acutely.
3) I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence.”
4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks … Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by …”
5) I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. … Fear of change had them pretending that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
Courage to Change
If you could project into the future, being on your deathbed, what do you think one of your top regrets would be? Do you have the ability to change it? Then start today. If one of your dreams is to write and publish a book, I am giving you an excellent opportunity to fix it. You can get a one-hour initial writing coaching consultation (normally 75 dollars) for 55 dollars to see if you are ready, and how we can structure your book to succeed. Then we can create a plan to keep it on target. Just click here to book and reserve your appointment, adding your contact info in notes area, and we will contact you to schedule a call, Skype or in-person meeting in Vancouver. For more info, leave a message at 778-300-5152 and we will get back to you promptly.