“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”
– Sydney Smith
I read an article by Bronnie Ware about how she cared for the dying recently – and the regrets her patients had during the last few weeks she shared of their lives. It really made me think about my own life, what I might regret in the future – and maybe different actions I could take today.
Here’s a list of the five most common regrets her patients had:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Live A Life True To Yourself
She says about the courage to live a life true to yourself:
“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.”
Some other thoughts on regrets below
The Web’s Biggest Regrets
(Please note, you may not be able to view this video in an RSS reader. Click to read the article and watch)
If You Had Your Life To Live Over
If I Had My Life To Live Over
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who live
sensibly and sanely hour after hour,
day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
85 years old.
How To Live With No Regrets
In times of uncertainty, you may wonder how to make a decision – which path to take, which course of action is right. Standing at the edge of the rest of your life and wondering which way to go. The research (referenced below) shows a couple of clear patterns -
- We regret opportunities we let slip away
- We especially regret anytime that we could have taken action, but didn’t
It’s interesting to see research back this up, but that’s something I think you may also know intuitively – and perhaps have experienced in your own life.We always regret the dreams we don’t follow through on and the things we don’t do. The question isn’t just then what action will you take today – it’s also, what action will you regret not taking?
I don’t have all the answers. I definitely don’t have all the right answers. I have however, read, spoken with many people, watched lectures, mentored and been mentored.
I don’t know that there is a secret to living a life with no regrets, but if there is, it probably goes something like this:
Bet On Your Dreams
A couple thoughts and some links below:
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”
– John Barrymore
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
Take Action – Avoid Regret
You don’t want to live a life that you’ll regret – and you don’t have to. If you are struggling, or want more, I will guide you with the techniques I have used in my own life to take action and get what I want. Take a look now: Advanced Training Techniques to Take Action In Your Life
Researched For This Article:
- What We Regret Most … and Why
- The Experience of Regret: What, When and Why (PDF)
- Regrets of the Dying
Read These Popular Articles Now:
|You Gotta Be Hungry – Les Brown||Choosing Your Own Life’s Adventure||Simplicity Quotes|