Top Five Regrets
A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common
regrets people have at the end of their lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I
hadn't worked so hard'. Bronnie Ware put her observations into a book called "The Top Five Regrets
of the Dying.”
Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:
1 I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look
back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not
honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had
made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it."
2 I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
"This came from every male patient. They missed their children's youth and their partner's
companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of
the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so
much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."
3 I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled
for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many
developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."
4 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was
not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they
had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving
friendships the time and effort that they deserved.
5 I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.
They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed
into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and
to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have
silliness in their life again."
What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before
Source - Creativity Sphere by Dr N Annamalai