An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware was recently brought to my attention. She has written a book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” after working in palliative care, looking after patients in the last 12 years of their lives. In this book she talks of the top 5 regrets that these patients had, hoping that if we all see them, we can learn from them. These are the top 5 regrets that she found…..
- 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’d stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I’d let myself be happier.
Are you seeing yourself in any of these? Every day we wake up we can choose to live life differently than we did yesterday, even if it is only one small step. If we have the intention and the aspiration to head in a new direction, we are the only ones who can take that step, take the responsibility for the life we want, as I talked about last week.
Number 3 is the one I work with my clients the most. Not always about wishing they had the courage to express their feelings, but to be able to do that in a way that others are not traumatised because they have used words that are upsetting. So often we don’t have the courage to have that difficult conversation & it escalates to the point where the words come out without a lot of thought and the relationship can suffer. So having the courage to express ourselves about the things that feel awkward, before they have built up to a crescendo, is a vital part of ensuring that our friends can continue to trust us. Just because we have a different point of view does not destroy the trust. In fact, it is the opposite. If we trust we feel comfortable expressing ourselves with a difference knowing that it will be accepted.
Enjoy working on these 5 regrets!