Lessons for living- 5 Regrets to avoid.

30 Aug

As I was discussing in the past few articles the gems of Knowledge we learn from people who have lived their lives and have come to a realization that certain things in life matter more than others. I was taken with the words of the people who had taken part in Dr Karl Pillimers legacy project  on the thoughts of our elder friends and the wonderful conclusions that they had in life.

One Comment that recurred time and time again was the importance of “Saying it Now“. The only time you can share your deepest feelings is while people are still alive. Yet how often have so many of us failed to do this with Friends or especially parents or loved ones. This reminded me of a talk an article I did about a palliative care Nurse.

This Nurses name was Bronnie Ware and she cared for patients in the last 6 or so weeks of their lives. During this time with people who were confronting their own mortality and reflecting on their lives. She noticed that there were 5 regrets that kept recurring with all her patients. These regrets are interesting, when you think that these people have reached the final stages of their lives and are reflecting on what they would change.
* I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not a life others wished of me.

When people’s lives are over it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. How often have we followed our parents footsteps into a world we have no interest in only to find our passion and zest for life being crushed as we try to please others. Find what you love to do and spend as much of your life doing it as is possible. Make it your Job!!. We are only happy when we spend time doing what we love to do. If you don’t want to be an accountant then don’t be. I am not trying to offend accountants but merely providing an example.

Most people have not honoured half their dreams and have died knowing it was down to the choices they had or had not made.

* I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

Many of us suppress our feelings in order to keep peace with others. As Irish people we are good at this. We are in a restaurant and are unhappy with our meal. We tell everyone  at the table how unhappy we are. But don’t tell the people who served us the food because we don’t want to ruin the night or cause a fuss. We walk away from that restaurant kicking ourselves for not having the courage to say what we felt was right.

We are also not a great nation for expressing our feelings when we see wrong. Our economic collapse has been created by other forces yet we end up paying for it. We are not good at taking to the streets or expressing how we feel to the right people.

“If you think you are too small to be effective you have never been in bed with a mosquito” said Gandhi. If only more of us took that on board. as a result we are happy to settle for a mediocre existence.

* I wish I didn’t work so hard.

Every single male patient said this!!. They all said that they wished they had spent more time with the people they cared about most doing the things they loved. Life is not, Birth, School,Work ,Death. It’s much bigger than that.

* I wished I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is so easy to let relationships slip. Remember this! We choose our friends, that is the power and beauty behind friendships.

But as the final weeks of our lives stare us in the eye it is not money or success that matters but love and our friendships.

* I wished I had let myself be happier.

Life is full of events. We get stung by bees, relationships end, we crash cars, we lose jobs.That’s just life! it is how we interpret these events that make the difference. We can see it as another knock in what you expected to be a perfect life or you can see it as a chance to grow from your experience.

Many do not realise that happiness is a choice. Fear of change only strengthens that unhappiness.

What an interesting insight from the people who are most qualified to understand what it is like to stand on the precipice with one foot stepping into the unknown and the other leaving behind the past they created.

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2 Responses to “Lessons for living- 5 Regrets to avoid.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lessons for living- Wake Up! To You! « Thelollipopeffect - September 7, 2012

    […] happy when we spend time on activities and pleasures that make our heart sing. As my last post 5 regrets to avoid told us it is too late in the last stages of our lives to discover we regret having spent so much […]

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  2. What are the benefits of a shorter working week? | Thelollipopeffect - April 8, 2015

    […] care nurse. During her time taking care of terminally ill patients she encountered “5 regrets that the dying” constantly made. Every Male patient said that they “wished they had worked less and […]

    Like

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