HOW TO BEAT THE FIVE REGRETS OF THE DYING

There are five regrets common to those who are dying. Here's some suggestions on how to avoid them and live a regret-free life.

THE FIVE REGRETS OF THE DYING

Bronnie Ware was a pallative care nurse who discovered there were five regrets that were common to those she cared for in their last days. She wrote a book about these five regrets in 2009 and they've woken a lot of us up to the fact that life is short and we don't want to be at the end of our days regretting what we could have fixed in the years leading up to that point.

THE FIVE REGRETS BONNIE SHARES

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.

5 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. Bronnie Ware

HOW TO BEAT THE FIVE REGRETS OF THE DYING

1. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF

Why wait until you're on your death bed to realize that you should have lived your life differently? Why not start now and put some positive energy into living a life that is so rich and full that it leaves you with no regrets when it's time to leave this earth behind?

Do you have a dream you've been nurturing in your heart but have pushed to the back of your priority list because you're busy looking after everyone else? Are you too busy to invest some of your time in following that dream? Maybe you need to find a little bit of space for yourself - stop for a moment and jot that dream down on paper - make it real - then decide what you're going to do about it.

Time flies by and if you spend all of it running around after others then you may just miss finding out who you truly are, and in the process you'll miss out on the joy of living an authentic life. Why not take a core values quiz? Drill down to what is meaningful to you and start investing some of your time in developing your character and shaping your future.

2. FIGURE OUT WHAT'S IMPORTANT

When you stop the hamster wheel long enough to focus in on what you really value, it will always come back to a number of different areas - it will never be just your job, or just your family, or just your hobby, or just your latest fad. There will be a combination of factors that make you who you are. Don't let your job and the need to earn as much money as possible become your only priority.

Invest time in all the facets of your life. Don't spend so much time building your career that you neglect your partner or your children, your friends, or yourself. Look beyond the almighty dollar and figure out what else matters - and then use your time wisely.

3. SPEAK UP AND BE VULNERABLE

We are so protective of our hearts - nobody wants to be hurt and we often don't say the things that need to be said in case we expose ourselves and open ourselves to rejection. I totally understand that (I'm always second guessing how much to share and how much to protect). The thing is, if we don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable, if we keep our feelings locked inside, then those we love may have no idea of how important they are to us. 

It's time to open up and to invest ourselves in our relationships, we need to tell others that we love them and share how we feel. Don't let an opportunity pass by where you could tell someone how much they mean to you. Friendships and family take time and emotional investment but what we reap is priceless.

4. INVEST IN YOUR FRIENDSHIPS

This is such a turbulent area for a lot of us. We make friends so easily when we're young. Children and teenagers always seem to gravitate to each other and form close bonds. We also connect with those we work with, those we meet in various social arenas, or even the parents of our children's friends. We think those friendships will last forever - but time has a different idea. Things drift, people change, they move to new areas of life, they physically change address, they may even betray us in some way. Friendships get lost as life moves on.

It's easy to let friends drift away, we assume that new friends will appear and there'll always be others to share our lives with. New friends are wonderful, but old friends are invaluable. There's nothing like knowing someone who has been with you for decades of friendship - who knows you well and is there to support you when you're going through a tough time. Hold those friendships tight - follow up when they start to move away - don't let them go without making the effort to find out why. You'll never meet anyone who can replace a friend who's known you forever.

5. CHOOSE TO BE POSITIVE

Life is pretty great when you stop for a moment and appreciate it. Gratitude is the key to being happy with our lives - contentment brings joy. Those who are discontent, who feel they're missing out, who don't appreciate the small pleasures that come their way - they're the ones who become bitter in later life. We all know the "grumpy old men" and the "miserable old women" - often they're just people who allowed the negatives to seep in and who didn't take the time to stop and count their blessings regularly.

Don't be that person! Don't let bitterness, resentment, anger, envy, or negativity be your go-to reaction. It all comes down to choice - and that choice is in your hands. Nobody forces you to be miserable. Life isn't always fair, there will be people who get an easier ride than you, but you still get to choose how you deal with that - it doesn't change the circumstances, but it makes a huge difference to your happiness levels if you choose positivity and joy.

5 ways to avoid regret - 1. Be true to yourself - live an authentic life. 2. Figure out what's important and spend your time wisely. 3. Speak up and risk being vulnerable. 4. Invest in your friendships. 5. Always choose positivity and gratitude. LLC

DYING WITHOUT REGRETS IS ALL ABOUT CHOICE

It's up to us how we choose to spend our days, how we respond to our circumstances, and how much value we place on our relationships. Living a life that brings us joy day to day is the key to dying well. Not every moment of life will be packed with excitement and fireworks, but finding within ourselves the ability to choose gratitude, to choose positivity, to choose to respond with an open heart, to choose to make relationships a priority.....these all lead to a regret-free life (and death). Choose wisely my friend.


To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties
Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

49 comments

  1. Good list. I have few regrets in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denise - I'm the same because I'm learning to put these five things into practice more. I certainly don't want to die wishing I'd worked less!

      Delete
  2. Lots of wisdom here. I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about how short life is. This post should be shouted from the rooftops. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny how we hit the halfway mark in Midlife Alana and suddenly start coming to grips with the fact that our time here is getting shorter and what do we want to do about that fact? For me it's turning out to be quite an eye opener!

      Delete
  3. Leanne, this is a thought-provoking post. I am particularly intrigued by the comment, "I wish I hadn't worked so hard." That could very well be one of my thoughts on my death-bed, and yet I can't honestly make your statement, "Don't work so much." I rarely do "nothing". Why? I don't really know. I just have to be busy all the time. We are officially retired, but I don't see myself as having retired as a writer. I spend my days working on writing projects and my evenings I relax (?) making cards in front of TV. Hmm. Maybe I need to really think more about this. A Lesson in Communication

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shirley - I think if what you do is something you love then it's not "work" Work is when you go to the 9-5 treadmill each day and spend your time counting down until you can go home again. I want balance and interest in my life - that doesn't come from working too much in my books - time for family and friends and leisure is so important.

      Delete
  4. I love you life a regret free life list! YES to every single one of those 5!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much - and yes you're absolutely right - if we don't intentionally stop and think about what makes us happy and take time to pursue it then we find we've forgotten how to laugh at the end of the day.

      Delete
  5. I hope to die with no regrets about how I lived my life. Of course, my outspoken demeanor may mean no one shows up for the funeral, lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure I'll be in trouble at my funeral too Denise - but by then I won't mind. There has to come a time in life where you're allowed to be outspoken and to not have to keep everything bottled up. I figure there will be less to embarrass myself with if I get Dementia - because it will already be out in the open :)

      Delete
  6. Great list and great reminders. Sometimes we have to step back and refocus on what we really want from life. It is so hard to get wrapped up in the busy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Andrea - we need to stop and take a look at what is important and how much of our life we focus on that - and maybe re-order our priorities a little before it's too late.

      Delete
  7. I love how you turned the regrets into goals! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lexie - it kind of made sense to me to re-jig them into something we can address while we still have time.

      Delete
  8. Hi Leanne. I have seen this list of the top regrets in life before and even written a blog post about them. Too many people put off their life goals because jobs, family commitments and lack of motivation puts them on the back burner until it is too late. I saw the light many years ago and have changed my life completely so that I won't carry too many regrets into my old age. This is such great advice for everyone to take onboard before it's too late. #TeamLovinLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wrote about them quite a while ago too Kathy but I think I'm at that stage of life where I want to keep reminding myself to focus on what matters and stop wasting time on things that don't have an eternal value.

      Delete
  9. I agree Leanne it is too late to have regrets in your deathbed. I'm living life to the full with as little regret as possible. Great advice here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are inspirational for how you live your life Sue - you seem to be getting the balance just right lately - especially with health, family and that gorgeous grandson!

      Delete
  10. Wish it didn't take until I was in my late 40's to realise a lot of what you've written here Leanne. Love your list of the top five resolutions for a regret free life. Some things in our lives are easier to change than others. Some take quite a lot of courage whereas others are not so difficult. Regardless, awareness of what needs to change is a very good first step! :-) #TeamLovinLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know the feeling Min - it took me to 50 to pull the plug on a job that sucked me dry - it wasn't going to be leaving me any fond memories in old age if I'd stayed there (just made me older before my time!) It's about finding the right amount of time and investment for each area and getting the balance right isn't it?

      Delete
  11. I love these important reminders, Leanne. As always your words hit the nail on the head. Thank you for this. I'll keep it in my mind and heart as I make it through each day. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you liked it Andrea - it's really about finding your authentic place in the world and not allowing the expectations of others to control how you spend your time. I have no intention of working myself to death - or allowing toxic people to absorb my time and attention.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Me too Diane - and btw I quote you in a post next week!

      Delete
  13. Great advice, although easier to say than do...

    Jude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it gets easier as you get older Jude - you start to think about what time you have left and how you want to invest it. Crappy jobs and crappy people are not on the list for me any more I'm afraid!

      Delete
  14. I tend not to do regrets - mainly because I don't have the focus required to hold onto the regret. It's interesting though, the number of 50 something men I've spoken to lately who are in jobs they hate because of the ageism associated with changing. One said yesterday - it's not about enjoying it, it's about navigating to the finish line. It's a sentiment I don't agree with, but am hearing so much more. #TeamLovinLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel a bit sorry for guys in this area Jo - their identity is often wrapped up in their job and having a job to talk about is really important - it doesn't have the same power over me and I'm so grateful for that!

      Delete
  15. My mum is very zen about dying. But she also leads a contented life. I tend to think her faith (she believes in God and is pretty religious) helps, but I think some of it is her personality. She sometimes says she's boring or not ambitious, but it's probably everyone else who has it wrong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty religious too Deb - but it's also a case of God helps those who help themselves. If you run around doing stuff you hate for people you don't like, it makes life on earth pretty miserable. I think I'm turning it around and leaving people to their own devices and working on a bit of your mum's Zen qualities :) Next I'll be taking up yoga!

      Delete
  16. Once again this is very thoughtful advice, Leanne. Thanks for sharing this #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Donna - it's really just common sense, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded to look at what's important and use our time wisely (we have less time left these days!)

      Delete
  17. We all hope to die without regrets, but I guess there will always be something we wish we had done differently. Intentionally thinking about what we really value and prioritizing them the way you have is wise, and important! Of the items on your list, investing in relationships is most important to me. But all of them are important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm at the point where finding my voice is what's important to me Wendy - I'm so tired of listening to the opinions of others and trying to keep everyone happy - now there is a bit more of a focus on keeping myself happy!

      Delete
  18. I need to work on the working one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly did too - until a few years ago when I made the big change - although sometimes I wonder if it's "out of the frying pan and into the fire" with my new one - why can't work just be easy and pleasant and fun???

      Delete
  19. Whenever we're on holidays wondering if we should or shouldn't indulge in something, or have to make big decisions in other areas I always say to the kids "no regrets". The older I get the more I believe that to be true.
    #teamlovinlife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never held that "no regrets" ideology until now Leanne - lately I've come to think that there isn't that much to living a happy life - and not having regrets is one of those simple things - so your "no regrets" might be my midlife mantra!

      Delete
  20. I love how we think alike Leanne! I totally agree with you that we must not live (or die) with regrets. Life is way too short... and we must make the most of it! :) #TeamLovinLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly Lyndall - we spend so much time trying to smooth the path for others, now I'm feeling like it's time to smooth my own path and spend my time on the things worth investing in (and bad jobs and bad people are not on the list!)

      Delete
  21. Life is short and you really begin to realize that as you grow older. It's so easy to go through life doing and doing because we think we have too, only to find out at the end that we really didn't "have to" and being full of regrets. Thank you for the important reminder! Thank you for sharing at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we are taught to work and work at everything and then one day we can retire and reap the benefits. That's not what I want anymore - I want to find the balance of doing enough to not live under a bridge, but to also be happy and at peace right now - you're right - life is definitely short (and getting shorter by the day!)

      Delete
  22. I've previously commented Leanne but thanks for linking up and sharing with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I've shared on social media. See you at the next one!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Sue - you always go above and beyond and I appreciate it x

      Delete
  23. Great advice Leanne. Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty! I have shared on social media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Clearissa - and I love the link party and all you ladies who host it x

      Delete
  24. Inspiring! Thank you for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Leanne,
    5 beautiful sentiments! Thanks for bringing your post to last week's Blogger's Pit Stop.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    ReplyDelete
  26. All young adults or those at least 18 years old should take this into consideration and realize that life really is short. At that age though they think they have all the time in the world. Thanks Leanne for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.