What we can learn from the dying

13 July 2015

Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days, has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. These are the top five regrets, as recorded in  her book 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.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked 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.

No surprises there, you might say. We all know all of this already don’t we?

So why are these five things still the top five deathbeds regrets? Because we know it but don’t do anything about it. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but making these changes is down to us and us alone. These changes don’t happen to us, they happen because of us.

We can decide, now, to learn this lesson. Or we can leave it too late and just confirm what everyone already knew by dying full of regret, unfulfilled and disappointed.

For more detail, see Bronnie Ware’s own website: http://bronnieware.com/regrets-of-the-dying

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