If you are wondering: “When people look to their past, what are their most frequent regrets? What they wanted to do differently? What would they change in their lives if they had the opportunity to go back?”
Author Bronnie Ware provides some very interesting answers to these questions after spending several years with the terminally ill, staying close to them in their last weeks of life.
“When I asked them what their life's main regrets were”, racconta Bronnie, “invariably common themes and profound similarities emerged between the various patients.”
These are the 5 most common regrets of those who are about to die, as did Bronnie Ware:
1# I wish I had the courage to live my life, not the life others expected from me
Have you ever woken up to the realization that you are not living the life you really wanted? It is as if you wake up in someone else's life and body.
It's chilling, but a common feeling is not knowing which way to go.
For many, this realization occurs late in the years, when their life is almost over. They realize how many dreams they have been unsatisfied with.
In that instant they understand that they have lived a reality that is not theirs, a reality that does not reflect who I really am, an untrue reality.
Many of them struggle to understand, until the last day of their life, that happiness is a choice.
We make choices every day, some large and others small that become habits over time. These habits add up to who we are today and who we will be tomorrow.
Whether it's what you eat for lunch or what you say to a frustrating colleague, hai (literally) hundreds of occasions every day to define who you are through your habits.
If you want to live a life to the fullest and without regrets, you must understand the importance of improving yourself through the conscious creation of good habits.
These habits will define who you really are and give you the courage to live your life, not the life others expect from you.
2# I wish I hadn't worked so hard
As Bronnie Ware reports:
“This has come out of every male patient I have attended. They have lost their children's childhood and the company of their partners.
Some women have also mentioned this regret, but as if they were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been heads of households. "
I believe that this regret is linked to a historical period and a social structure of the past.
Today day, things are changing. We have much more opportunities to spend time with the family as the world of work is increasingly flexible to respond to workers' demands.
So I think this regret is not worrying for the current generation.
3# I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
Often this regret is accompanied by anger, bitterness and resentment.
Many suppress their feelings for lack of courage: speak freely about their emotions, of one's thoughts and especially of one's feelings requires inner security.
Others prefer a quo state: they want “to survive” without having hassle, without judgment or criticism of others, thus avoiding any kind of conflict.
As a consequence, they rest on a mediocre existence and do not make the slightest effort to realize their potential.
And when you don't realize your potential, you can't live a life to the fullest. By life at the most I mean a life that gives you joy, passion and excitement. In other words, have a life without resentment that is worth living.
4# I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
Many people find themselves on the verge of death alone and forgotten.
We are so focused on our work, activities, commitments and everyday problems that we risk neglecting and losing precious friendships.
But a life lived sterile of feelings and relationships is a life that is not worth living. With the passing years, people realize that money and success are useless, if left alone.
If you don't want to regret not giving friendships the effort and time they deserve, devote time each week to connect with them and make it a habit.
No need to go out for dinner, playing golf or even going on vacation together, but just make a phone call and ask how things are going.
Simple but effective.
5# I wish I had allowed myself to be happier
Many try to be happy in life, but they don't realize that happiness is a choice. It is easy to become a slave to one's habits and routines.
This regret connects to previous regrets. Happiness is fullness in realizing one's potential and discovering who we really are, to have expressed emotions and feelings and to have cultivated deep friendships.
But also the happiness of enjoying a real life to yourself: “The fear of change makes them pretend to others and lie to themselves, convincing themselves that they are happy, when deep inside, they wanted nothing more than to laugh out loud and insert a little childishness into their life” racconta Bronnie Ware.
Experience the best version of yourself
Many extraordinary lessons can be drawn from this story.
In particular, it makes us understand that life is our greatest opportunity. Unfortunately, many do not grasp it but let it pass by looking at it passively instead of living it.
I have some fundamental beliefs ...
- I believe you have the ability to live a better life full of happy moments, satisfaction and no regrets. Believe me. I'll show you how to do this.
- I believe you want to be a better person. I'm here to help you discover your innate potential.
- I believe you deserve happiness, respect and love. And I am determined to give you the tools to create these feelings in every crevice of your existence.
The people and their regrets described by Bronnie Ware, they are nothing more than the result of a life lived to the least worst instead of a life to the maximum. A life dictated by unconscious habits which determine their life.
If you don't want to live a life of only regrets but instead live a life full of satisfaction and happiness, learn to consciously create habits.
When you are able to do this, then you can live a truer life with yourself.