Sunday, October 13, 2013

Top 5 Deathbed Regrets - Are any of these yours now?

What are the top five deathbed regrets?  Bronnie Ware wrote a book called "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying:  A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing."  Bronnie worked as a pallitive nurse who noticed that people in transition had a lot in common.  From the book and multiple sources on line, allow me to share them with you.  While you're looking these five over and since this is a blog dedicated to helping people kick the habit, consider how these regrets play into your own life.  Is there a way you can leverage them into extending your time on this planet by not smoking anymore?  Can you use this to help yourself stop smoking and quite literally buy yourself the time you need to rid yourself of the possibility of these five regrets... 

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

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize 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 honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

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

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

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

“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

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

”This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Challenge:  Are any of these your regrets now?  Right now?  If your time was up, on a scale from 1-10, where are you on the level of regret with each of these?

I'll wrap this up with a little Thoreau, "Most men lead lives of quite desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."