The top 5 regrets of the dying

First, let me say that I am not a pessimist nor a fatalist. However, I do believe in what I call having 20/20 foresight. When it comes to life, we all know we’re going to die, it’s just a question of how and when. Here’s the thing about not facing your mortality: You might not have as much time as you think OR WORSE, the people you care most about may have less than time than you would like.

After the fact, it’s too late.

After the fact, you can’t do anything about it.

Now, you can. I suggest you listen to the top 5 regrets of the dying to make the most of your life – what’s left of it, which when you think about it – it’s all of it because you CAN’T GO BACK…

I want to thank Mark Mackenzie of The Graffiti Eaters for sending this article to me. He’s an ambitious high achiever who places his family as his top priority, so I know he takes these recommendations to heart as I hope you will too.

The top five regrets of the dying

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 realise 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 didn’t work so hard

This came from every male patient that I nursed. 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. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

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 and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

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