Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

I would like to turn your attention to an article/blog I recently read entitled "Top 5 Regrets of the Dying." It was written by a woman named Bonnie Ware who, through her time working with dying patients, found recurring themes surface in their dying days. Here are the top five listed below:

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

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

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

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

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


The article maintains that life is a CHOICE, each and every step of the way. So, how do we make the choices in our lives easier for ourselves? How do we live a life true to ourselves? In today's society, we are so bombarded with the pressure to have the finer things in life that we work ourselves to death doing jobs that we don't even enjoy, for what? How do we make those choices in life that lead us to our true potential?

I envy my friends who have already found their passions in life and those who may not know their passion, but have enough confidence in themselves, combined with an overwhelming sense of optimism, that they will be led to their passions in no time. Take my friend Anne, for instance (picture shown below). She's a truly amazing hair stylist who I believe has really found her passion in life. She loves doing hair, and anyone's hair she touches turns to gold.

I want to be these friends... sometimes.

In an effort to find ways to AVOID these regrets, maybe we can all study the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote the book The Four Agreements. In order to live a happier, healthier life, all you need to do is follow these four agreements (from the cover of the book):

Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I wholly believe that incorporating these agreements into your daily life will help lead to a life of less confusion and help you to grow as a person. I catch myself doing the opposite of these agreements sometimes and when I do, I feel BAD. When I have to hold my tongue for fear of hurting someone's feelings, it makes me feel BAD because I cannot express how I really feel. When someone gets angry at me for something insignificant and I take it personally, I feel BAD because I've taken their reality and made it my own. When I assume that that boy I really like isn't calling me because I'm not pretty enough, I feel BAD because I've let my mind believe something that's untrue. And, when I feel like I am only half-assing something, I know I'm not reaching my full potential, and I feel BAD. In an effort to feel GOOD, I will incorporate these agreements into my daily life, having faith that it will make take my life into a direction of no regrets.


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