In 2009, palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware wrote an article entitled, ‘Top 5 Regrets of the dying,’ based on her relationships and experiences of working with dying patients.
Here they are – the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked 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.
Every now and then, I find it useful to remind myself of these potential regrets; to picture myself at the end of my life, looking back on what I did or didn’t do.
Of course, life is about balance. And it might be that when you’re avoiding one potential regret, you’re actually causing another. I know this from personal experience, having started my business this January. More than ever, I’m fulfilling the idea of living a life true to myself and grounded in no ones’ expectations other than mine… which is incredible! But I’m also forced to put work first right now, which means that I haven’t seen friends anywhere near as much as I’d like.
I think at whatever point you look at this list, you’re probably going to feel that there’s more you could do to avoid a certain regret. But the point is that you look; that you address this; that you take some small steps to re-balance.
When I looked at this yesterday, I’d planned to spend a good few hours working before I let myself have a little Sunday relaxation.
But honestly? I’m knackered.
So sod it.
I’m taking the day off.
Today, I’ll just let myself be happy.