“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Job
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying as shared by Bonnie Ware (who worked for years nursing the dying)
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 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 have 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.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work 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.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
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.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly,in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my 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.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks,love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
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 their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have sillyness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Indeed, ‘Why not?’ Two simple words with a question mark, open up a whole new world of possibilities – if we will only take a moment to look deeply within ourselves. The first and foremost reaction of most, including myself at times, is to shoot off a idea and to deem it not possible on the first time we hear it. Negativity kicks in for most people and the pessimist in us said, “It couldn’t be done.” Really? Or to be honest with ourselves, are we fearing the hidden growth or the butterflies in the stomach? The nervousness that speaks to us, “Hey, I haven’t done this before.” Tune in to the optimist inside us and let us ask ourselves, ‘Why not?’
Lessons come to us in the most unspeakable hours; they hit you when the time is right and it sure doesn’t matter whether we are expecting them. That, I called it ‘Moment of realisation’ – a moment of lesson learns in life. This particular lesson came to me when I was lying on my bed last night, fiddling my Xperia P, and checking on my page in Facebook when I read the poetry ‘It Couldn’t be Done’ by Edgar Albert Guest.
Whenever we have an idea and we are all excited to share it with the people around us, guess what? We are being shot off, fall flatly on our face, and the next moment the doubt will creep in to claim its land. We told ourselves, “Maybe it is not such a brilliant idea after all.” We trust the opinion of people around us instead of ourselves. They have successfully ‘killed’ our idea with one shot. Remember the ‘crab mentality?’
Love the doubt that creeps in. Yes, love it, as it may be true sometimes. However, we should be trusting our own intuition more. Ask ourselves this, “How many times we had great ideas, and we shared with people closest to us about these ideas and suddenly they made us feel like they are not such great ideas after all.” Then one day, we overheard that someone else had made great use of our idea! ‘If only,’ we told ourselves. Let us face this, a lot of time, the people who are closest to us, they are the greatest ideas ‘killers.’
However, we have to take full responsibility for that as we chose to ask them in the first place; we can’t expect people around us to know everything especially with things they have not done before. We chose to listen to their well-meaning opinions. Sometimes, we have to take the road less travelled or even to create new trails for others who follow after us.
The next time when someone told us, “It couldn’t be Done,” let us answer them with a smile, and say, “Why not?” We’ll do it anyway and let our action doing the talking for us.
________________________________ It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “Maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Saw this video this morning; a message from the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority on texting while driving. I am one who definitely lose my mind, not literally, when I saw someone texting while they are driving. I will always tell them off. While it is already bad enough to take call without an earpiece while driving, we seem to have advanced to texting while driving. Apparently we have grown leaps and bounds in technology and yet we have not matched likewise intellectually; some of us have become slaved to technology rather than to make use of technology to benefit humankind in general.
Fortunately, most of us are wise enough to know what is the right thing to do. The next time round when we hear that familiar alert for incoming text, may we have the wisdom to know that if it is urgent and a matter of life and death, the person will have made a call instead of texting. Otherwise, the text message can wait until you have reached your destination.
A message from the video which went straight to my heart, “The next time you’re driving and you hear that text come through … before you reach for your phone … stop and think … about who’s left behind to pick up the pieces …”
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