How to die without regrets
Dodge the top regrets we all typically have at the end
I came across a list of the top regrets of the dying yesterday, shared by a palliative care nurse named Bronnie Ware.
It felt a bit scary reading them. I guess I don’t think of death often.
I know the Stoics recommend we think of our mortality every day. The thinking is that we will then behave more in line with that reality. But that’s still on my to do list - I’ll keep my head in the sand for a while longer thank you very much!
Anyway, yesterday I made an exception and read the list:
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 had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish I had let myself be happier.
What made it scary is that I’ve flagrantly breached all of those at various points in my life. I think I have made some headway though:
I fixed #1 relatively early on by switching from working in ‘big law’ to building a company, which is what I always wanted to do.
Still regularly work too hard (#2), although becoming a father recently has definitely helped with that - nothing like a baby to drill you into shape!
I’m also quite a conflict averse person, so I think I still don’t follow #3.
I used to be very bad at #4 but have recently improved. One of my best friends who doesn’t live nearby called me out on us rarely talking (he had the courage to express his feelings!). We then agreed to just put a recurring monthly calendar invite in our diaries. This solved the issue! So simple, yet so effective.
I don’t think I’ve been sabotaging my own happiness, so #5 is also under control.
Anyway, I think dying without regrets is a good lens through which to judge our lives from time to time. So I’m going to put a calendar invite in to review this list ever year.
I recommend you do the same! How do you feel you’re scoring?
Thanks for being here,
P.S. If you need help with any of these things, we’d love to help out :-)
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