By Fattima Mahdi
If you want to live a happy and fulfilled life which is free from regret, it is important that you grab opportunities that come your way and take the necessary steps required to reach your potential. There is nothing worse than leaving this world with the belief that you could’ve, or perhaps, should’ve done more. A palliative nurse who counselled the dying in their last days revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. The top regrets focus largely around living a more authentic life.
I Wish I Had Fulfilled My Dreams
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise 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 honoured 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 realise, until they no longer have it.”
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.”
I Wish I Wasn’t So Content
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise 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 themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
I Wish I Expressed How I Felt
“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.”
I Wish I Had Stayed In Touch With Friends
“Often they would not truly realise 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.”
The good news is that you you still have time to change the course of your life. You still have time to love more, take action, express how you truly feel, let go of grudges and spend time with the ones that matter most.
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