Regrets on our deathbeds


Is it true that now, more than any other time in history, we have choices today about the way we live? While we still face the realities of a less than stellar economy, while millions still work to make ends meet day to day, our wealth and options in this century still outweigh those of our past, don’t they?

Regrets of the dying

Every person wants to make his or her own destiny somehow, but the necessities of life – finding food, sustaining shelter, day to day survival – can make it seem like there’s little time to explore a grander destiny other than that survival. In this midst of this daily struggle it’s easy to tout excuses about why we aren’t living the lives we really want to: I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I have too many things holding me back.

I’ve often wondered about this. With all the comforts of technology and access to resources today, especially in America, I would think that more people are better suited today to live their lives the way they dream. I’ve wondered, is human fulfillment something any person can have, no matter their lot in life?

I like to think so. We aren’t all born with abundant resources. I know I certainly wasn’t, but I believe that has taught me to find happiness outside of money and “stuff”. Sometimes you have to assess what you do have and make hard choices; decide to give up more of one thing so you can enjoy more of something else. We all have different lots in lives but not a single person is free of troubles.

Regrets of the dying no regrets

Regrets of the Dying

Still, among the top regrets of those on their deathbeds is: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” The others included:

  • I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.

What would you do with extra time gifted to your lifespan? What secret wish of yours is going unfulfilled? What parts of your life are things others expected of you, rather than things you genuinely wanted for yourself? What would you change now to ensure you lived life with no regrets on your deathbed?

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