A person who counsels the dying in their last few days put together a list of the top 5 most common regrets we have when we reach the end of our lives. 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.
This list made me take a good, long, hard look at my life. Am I living the life I want to live? Do I care too much about what people think? Am I working too hard? Am I spending enough time with family? What friends have I lost contact with? I don't want to be another statistic on my death bed with the same regrets. I want to look back knowing I made the most of the one precious life I was given. Thanks to this woman I was inspired to figure out what really matters in life.
Here's how to live life to the fullest:
Imagine for a moment you're on your death bed. When you look back have you lived a life that is in line with what matters to you most? Take a few minutes to look at your life. Write down the things that are important to you. What changes could you make so that you can focus more on these things? Make copies of the list and put it up where you will be reminded everyday.
Don't make decisions based on what other people think. Just focus on being you. Some people can have high expectations of you. An old friend of mine expected me to be there for her all the time, I was worried about upsetting her so I tried to meet this expectation but I felt drained and ended up resenting her. I love to sing at the top of my lungs and bust out to my favourite songs while driving, I stopped doing this because I was worrying what the other drivers would think if they saw me. Not anymore, if you see me driving be warned! You will see a crazy woman busting out big time. I apologise in advance for my shocking voice. If you can live the life you want rather than pleasing other people you'll end up on your death bed a very happy person.
Work less. Not many people on their death bed wished they had worked harder, in fact it's something most people regret. Are you getting enough time for family, friends and to simply enjoy life? Could you set aside more time for these things? If not can you cut back on some hours at work or limit other commitments?
Say how you feel. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. I would always cover up my feelings so I could keep peace with others. It had prevented me from reaching my full potential and enjoying life to the fullest. I'm no longer afraid to tell people how I feel. A fun fact: if you don't express your true feelings not only will you regret this on your death bed but you will also end up there quicker too. Many people have developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried because of this.
Keep in contact with your friends and family. Give someone you've been thinking about a call or meet up for a coffee, even if its just one friend or family member a month. Make time for this and you won't have this to regret.
Laugh and be silly. Don't stay stuck in unhealthy patterns and habits. Don't let the fear of change prevent you from the freedom of being your true self.