Bronnie Ware wrote this now famous article titled ‘Regrets of the Dying’. These are five regrets that were commonly expressed by people who are facing their own death.
Here is a summary of those five common regrets:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me – try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard – by simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings – by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends – 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 – many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice.
Below is Bronnie Ware’s initial article and the TED talk can be found here:
This is a reflection on death and our previous human rebirth, making them difficult points to reflect upon. But they are worth the effort because of the overall impact on the way that we live our lives.
Not all of the material will sit easily. For example, it includes “new age” phrases that have become overused and we find irritating, such as “blessings”, “authentic”, and “synchronicity”. But there is a lot that can be applied on a day-to-day basis that match up to Buddhist meditations.