Bronnie Ware wrote the book “Regrets of the Dying”. She worked in palliative care for years and she questioned her patients about any regrets they may have and if they would have lived their life differently if they could go back. Here are the top five answers when she asked her dying patients if they had any regrets:
- 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.
Pretty powerful stuff there.
Frank Sinatra sang “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention” in his song “My Way”.
It’s of my favorites and you can see a previous blog about it here: https://www.retireearly365.com/my-way
At 50 years old, I can look back on my life and say that I have only a few regrets but nothing that keeps me up at night. Now mistakes are a whole different discussion, but thankfully I’ve learned from most of those.
If we think about it soon enough, we can minimize the number of things we were unable to do.
Personally, regret and even guilt are two words/thoughts that I’ve never given much energy to. Those two feelings tend to leave you looking in the rearview mirror and feeling sad. There are folks who do struggle with regrets and the feeling to them is real. My focus is living the most positive life I can and that can only be done by looking and moving forward.
Do you choose to live in the past or are you making plans for the future?
When I kick the bucket, cash in my chips, give up the ghost, push up daisies, take a dirt nap or become worm food, I plan on checking out knowing that I’ve lived my life to the fullest.
Even if I die tomorrow and never had a chance to roam the country in a RV or live in Central America, I’ll die knowing that I was out of the corporate world, doing what I love to do and well on my way living the life I wanted.
It’s time to put the regrets in the past where they belong. And it’s time to tie them off and start living in your authentic way. Live your life and live it hard.
Slide into your grave sideways yelling “holy shit, what a ride”.
Your time is now.
Live free my friends