Have you ever come across the top five regrets of the dying? It’s a list (and now a book), compiled in 2009 by palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware, of the five most common regrets expressed by terminally ill patients. They are:
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.
We can all take a lot from this list right now. With the great resignation playing out amidst a collective shift in priorities, there’s never been a more important time to know what you need and value. When you’re 80 sitting on your veranda, what do you want to say and feel about the life that you have lived?
This isn’t us trying to tell you to live every day like it’s your last, in case you’re hit by a bus tomorrow. It’s just a gentle reminder that every day is precious; that living deliberately and consciously when you can really matters.
We’ve turned these five regrets of the dying into five coaching questions for you to act on. Choose two that you know you need to pay attention to.
1. If I was being brave and honouring who I really want to be and the life I want to live, what decisions would I need to make now?
2. Where do I feel I am compromising my values?
3. If I was being authentic and vulnerable with the people I most care about, what conversations would I have?
4. What changes do I need to make to ensure I am spending quality time with people who matter to me?
5. Do I know what happiness looks and feels like?
We’re all for having regrets, just not the ones that will haunt us when we’re dying! Deliberately designing a life that puts our values front and centre seems the best way to avoid such a fate.
– The Coach Place Global
Image by Hunt Han
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