On your deathbed, what would you wish you had done?

Came across the blog of a lady who has worked in palliative care for many years, attending to the dying (here! and here!) She recently detailed the top five regrets that people have on their deathbed, and here they are:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

She said that this was the most common regret of all. It’s easy to let our dreams slip by due to circumstances or decisions that we’ve made. These choices mark the divide between living a fulfilled life or one that is full of regrets.

It’s important that we aim to achieve at least some of our dreams along the way. We often put off trying for our dreams due to a myriad of reasons. Before we know it, we would have lost our health and therefore, our chance to attain them.

If your dream is to start a business, get to it. If it’s to learn how to dance or try skydiving, book a class. If you want to make music, pick up a guitar.

Don’t put it off any longer.

One Life. Live It.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

In between having ends meet and aiming for a luxurious lifestyle, it’s easy to see why we get caught up with our work.

She said that this was a common regret of male patients who didn’t manage to spend enough time with their family.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race, but remember to set aside some time for the important things in life. Most importantly, you will have to understand why you do what you do. Is it for your own personal achievement, for family, or for a higher calling?

Now, where did I place my GP notes?

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Hands up anyone who has suppressed their feelings in order to avoid potential embarrassment or argument.

Avoiding arguments is good for a harmonious life, but the problem comes when we take it too far. When we blindly follow the opinions of someone more assertive just to avoid arguments, we’re shortchanging ourselves.

While it’s understandable that we use Twitter and blogging to rant about things we are unhappy with, do remember that talking about it face-to-face is always a more sincere option.

So if an issue is major enough, try approaching the person for an honest and frank chat. We’re not saying that the talk will be smooth sailing, but your relationships will emerge stronger and healthier.

Only love.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

It’s easy to lose touch with good friends. A busy lifestyle can take away time from the ones you love. This is where technology comes in.

With services like Facebook, WhatsApp and Yahoo! Messenger, it’s easy to keep tabs on old friends. Talking to friends is so effortless today that we have no reason to let staying in touch with friends take a backseat.

At the end of the day though, nothing beats chatting over a cup of coffee. So always remember to occasionally take things offline and catch up with your friends the old-fashioned way.


5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

‘Many don’t realize until the end that happiness is a choice’, she said in her blog post.

This is very true. Happiness is something that we choose for ourselves. Many get upset over the circumstances in their lives. What they do not realize is that they can choose to face difficulties with a smile.

Take a moment and enjoy life. If difficulties come your way, remember that pain is inevitable but wallowing in misery is always optional.

Choose to be happy.

Happy smileys all in a row


~ by irwin on June 22, 2011.

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