Top 5 Regrets of the Dying
I recently read an article that talked about the top 5 regrets of people that were close to dying. People that had been alive for a long time and were realizing that the end was very near. With no time to change it or no reason to sugarcoat it, they shared the 5 biggest regrets they had in their lives. This article hit me strong because it helped me realize what and who to spend my own time on and where I was missing the mark.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
For the first 30 years of my life I lived in a way that I truly believed was what I was "supposed to do." I was told what the plan to happiness was and I was following it best I could. The biggest pain in my life came when my heart and core didn't align with this expectation of me and I grew conflicted between what I wanted and what I was supposed to want.
If I wasn't so stubborn I know I would have just jumped into a marriage with a great woman and started a family just like I was supposed to. And for some and probably most people, this is exactly what their true self probably wanted them to do. For me it was not. Discovering for myself a path that felt authentic was one of the most important things that's ever happened to me. I like to think I give strength to those that don't want to follow the path that they are "expected" to follow. For me it was about finding one much better.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
This one is a tricky one for me. I value so much a good hard days work and I know how amazing I feel after a day in which I've done this. I think ultimately it means don't put off what matters most in the name of work. Plan to put in an honest days work but don't be afraid to take time for others that matter in your life.
For the first 8-9 years of my real estate career I was putting in a minimum of 60 hours per week. Thankfully I was in a job that allowed me to meet with a lot of friends, but I was still sacrificing a lot of what I truly wanted to do in order to keep up an appearance of success. It wasn't until the market changed and I too changed that I discovered how much it benefitted my own business by taking time to enjoy the things I love most in life. All of a sudden hard work in spurts isn't too bad when you see the life and blessings it brings to you and those you love. One of my favorite quotes, "Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day. But if we forget to savor the world what possible reason do we have for saving it? In a way the savoring must come first."
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
For so many years of my life I was nervous to express my love for those around me. I think our ego is trying to protect us cause we really don't know how well it will be accepted and that is a scary thought. Towards the end of last year I decided I would just start telling people my true feelings and letting them feel my genuine love towards them. I had beautiful experiences one after another. What surprised me the most in this is how well others received it and were then able to share their love for me in return.
I realized that we are all scared of certain things and we all have insecurities. But whether it was a professional athlete, a founder of a billion dollar business, or just my mom and dad; all of them so much appreciated being able to get a little vulnerable with me. One experience that I'll never forget I was with a very successful friend of mine. This guy is a true rockstar with an amazing wife and family, friends, career, etc.. He likes to look good and doesn't have to try that hard. And one night he pulled me aside and let me know that his love language is words of affirmation and sometimes he just needs to hear that he's doing a great job with his life. He was so vulnerable and so exposed and I have never loved that human more than I did in that moment.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Thankfully this one hasn't been an issue for me in my life. I chose a perfect career as a real estate agent that allows me to stay in touch with 100's of friends. I always say my greatest accomplishment as a human is the relationships I've built over the years. I encourage everyone to stop reminiscing on old times and start today to build new memories with those that you call friends.
One of my closest friends recently went through a very rough experience and it taught me a great lesson. I had thought I was doing a decent job of staying in touch but he had been going through a terrible trial and didn't dare tell any of us, his best friends, about it. When we all rallied around him and showered him with our love he was shocked that we all cared as much as we did. All I could do was apologize and I said to him, "my only regret is that you can't see or we didn't show properly just how much we love you. Nothing that has happened changes any part of that. And the fact that you didn't know that and so you suffered these past few years with this alone, I'm just sad about it. I'll make sure to be better cause we were there all along and I hate that you went through that pain alone." It was an awesome moment for friends to bond.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Too many people in life think that they don't deserve to be happy. They were their story or their pain like some kind of badge of courage. Or they put off what they really truly want to do, what fulfills them and makes them happy, because they expect some reward in the next life. Don't do that. Everyone deserves to be happy today right now. If you have some part of your life that you hate, change it today because regardless of what happens after this life, this is the only one we get to live that is like this!
I hope you found this article enjoyable. If you did please check out my Youtube page - https://www.youtube.com/user/yimmyrex where I try to share things that I have learned that have helped me in my life.