Thursday, February 02, 2012

Living (and Dying) Without Regrets...

{Post by Cliff Harvey]

Australian nurse Bronnie Ware in her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing recounts her years caring for those with less than 12 weeks to live (note: I haven't read the book yet)

She encountered the top 5 regrets amongst the patients she cared for:

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

Several words spring out at me when reading this list, and provide a call to action for how to live a life without regrets:


Courage and more specifically the courage to live for you, not for what other expect of you.


Work - and not working for works sake, but to work instead doing what we love, and in order to provide ourselves with the means for having joyous experiences. As importantly allowing ourselves the time to fully appreciate the range of experiences that are part of our life of passion and purpose.

Staying in touch.... The people we love are our greatest asset. Not things, not money. Nothing can be more important than the people we love, and the currency we share with them is our time together. When we sacrifice that time we are cheating ourselves out of life's most joyous moments.

Allowing happiness... The way this is framed is really interesting: 'I wish I had let myself be happier...
I was just this morning working with a client, and one of the themes that I kept revisiting with them was 'getting out of their own way'.
So often we let the inconsequential get in the way of what is really most important. We allow the perceptions and expectations of others be our driving forces, rather than focussing on the intrinsic motivators that are most in line with our values, ethos...and ultimate happiness.

So let's flip these regrets into a simple intention list for living a life without regrets!
(Here are some examples, feel free to rephrase these in any way that is meaningful to you.)

1. I have the courage to live a life true to myself.
2. I give myself the time to experience all the joys and wonders available to me.
3. I have the courage to speak my truth and express my feelings.
4. I honour myself by creating and keeping strong connections with those I love. I give these relationships time in abundance!
5. I allow myself to be happy...I am happy! Happiness is my birth right! :)

~ Blessings
   Cliff