The last blog was about engagement- being an active player in life and not a passenger. A complimentary discussion therefore involves regret- what we do not do. Whilst we all determine our prioritise and what gives us meaning there are some common threads to having a good life – and who better to ask than the dying when with all their wisdom they reflect upon their regrets. Nurse Bronnie Ware did just that interviewing palliative are patients and identified the top five regrets that hijack people from what is important and engaging.
Wishing to have the courage to live a life true to oneself. Living in a way that honours your genuine self is vital. Follow your own path and priorities. If you feel compromised or that you are walking to beat of another’s drum, stop and disentangle yourself. Focus on what your needs are, what your dreams are, what is meaningful to you – draw out a map if necessary to give yourself clarity. Centre yourself and check in that what you are doing matches your genuine self.
Wishing life was more than work. Being caught up on the employment/work treadmill is a significant regret. Make time for companionship time with partners, time with children is precious and opportunities do not come twice whilst those at work usually do. Keep work at a level consistent with your priorities- if you place your family first honour them, make work second.
Wishing to have the courage to express ones’ emotions and feelings. Recognising and assertively expressing emotions is another part of honouring yourself. If feelings are suppressed compromise or self sacrifice can ensue, which may lead to feelings of resentment, anger, sadness or other negative emotions. Being able to constructively express oneself is another aspect of honouring your genuine self. Try expressing yourself, learn skills of assertive communication if necessary- give yourself your voice.