The Top Five Regrets of the Dying

I’ll turn 50 years old this October.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my life lately – how I’m investing my life, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, my true-blue friends, the friends that I thought were true-blue … but weren’t.  You know, stuff like that…

Anyway, today I came across this research in an excellent periodical I read regularly called Leadership Journal.  It seems an Australian nurse named Bonnie Ware has spent years working with dying patients during the last 12 weeks of their lives.  She says that her patients gain a “phenomenal clarity of vision” as they approach death.  During her years of caring for the dying she would ask her patients about any regrets they had or what they would do differently.

Here are the top five responses…

1)  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself.  (Most of us never have real conversations with ourselves about ourselves.  We just accept the labels others place on us.)

2)  I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.  (Ware says every male patient she nursed said this.  I made a decision last year to stop the madness of 60-70 hour work weeks and you know what?  No one noticed.)

3)  I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.  (Many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others … afraid I’m guilty of that one.)

4)  I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.  (Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.  I’m not the most social person in the world but God’s given me a few good friends.  I hope they know how much they mean to me.)

5)  I wish I’d let myself be happier.  (People get stuck in the same old patterns and habits never realizing that happiness is a choice.  Fear, shame, and guilt paralyze so many people – been there myself – God never intended for it to be that way.)

If you died tomorrow, what regrets would you have?  Well, I hope you don’t die tomorrow.  I hope both of us have some time left.  So, what could we change now so that we might not die with such regrets?  Give it some thought.

Just thought I’d share that today…

~ by jackpickel on April 24, 2012.

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