An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, spent several years nursing dying patients, providing support and care during the last months of their lives. She has written a book in which she gathered her observations about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people in her care.
She writes about the clarity of vision people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”
Here are the top five:
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 hadn’t worked 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.
It’s a moving and perhaps very sobering list!
So here’s a flip …
1. I have the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I find time for play and other things besides as work.
3. I have the courage to express my feelings.
4. I stay in touch with my friends.
Not a bad set of guidelines! :)
And perhaps it’s a timely reminder for the rest of us – to ask ourselves what we need to ‘flip, so you won’t be faced with similar regrets at the end of our lives.