When have you wondered – how long you would live? It came to me some days ago. My close friend and political situation in Europe have made me think about it.
And even without any special motives and observations- just a question for you :Do you really know have much time will you live? Is it 5 years, 15, 20 , maybe 25? No,you do not know it for sure. Nobody knows. There is such a book by Bronnie Ware- The Five Regrets of the Dying. She looked after people in the terminal stage of their lives. She talked to them and asked them a very simple question:
“What do you regret most in your life?”
Hundreds of stories and answers were gathered into 5 key points. The book made me think of my life again. But this time deeper, stronger, more directly and personally.
Here are these 5 things we regret.
I regret I no no courage enough to live my real life instead of living the life I was expected from others.
I asked to myself what it means to me personally. The answer came in a very simple way. It is high time to accept , that I am the first. Me, myself and I . Me with my personality, deeper values, my priorities. Priorities of my heart and soul. And later on- just “keep close to myself” and follow that way. It does not mean that you are to neglect your duties, family, job. No, just the opposite.
First – take care of really important things. I repeat- really important from the time of your death perspective. It means that you have to choose and decide whether it is really important. Or, do I fulfil someone’s expectations that are not truly mines? Do I sacrifice my real priorities in exchange for being accepted, being in charge and in power, keeping social status quo, some whims, ambitions? What is the value of all those things at the end of your life?
I regrett, I worked so hard.
Oh yes. Probably you work hard for your success, customers, strategies, new launches, changes and so on. Well. What if I say- stop, and take it easy. Will you really , at the ended of your life, be regretting and wondering:
- I spent too little time in the office.
- I negotiated too few contracts.
- My analysis were not accurate enough and that is why I made wrong decisions.
- My company did not sell 200 bulks of vodka that had been targeted?
- I earned too little money.
Really? Are these things to be thought about at the end of your life? I sincerely doubt.
I know, I know. You may say now: “It is so easy to write so. But in real life it is not so easy”. And I do agree with you and I do not in the same sentence.Your word, your thought is your law. It works exactly as you decide whether you want it or not. So make wise decisions. Wise from that perspective. Perspective of your grave. Wise decision means – in coherence with your deepest feelings, key values, your heart. It often may mean risky and unpopular decisions. Decisions which are NOT business analysis based. Give the time to yourself. Time to rethink, meditate, pray, staying in tune with your feelings.
Your job, position, title is NOT you. It is your attribute not identity. It has more in common with role playing than being. Ok, you are lucky when your job/professional is a kind of your vocation and passion. But still it is not all you. If it happened to be “the only You” , or it takes too much of your life then ask a question to yourself: “What am I ESCAPING FROM? ”
Please, think of it. I personally know my escape that lasted over 20 years. ( I will write about it in the next post).
I regrett I did not pluck up my courage to express my deepest feelings.
O, yes, o well. Maybe you are the one to hide your feelings and emotions. And you call it control over life. You are taugh, you do not say what you really feel, wear various masks. You do not even say to yourself what you feel. To make the story short. As the result you start to be sick, you may have heart attack, you may feel depressed, burned down, drained off your power. You live for show, not your real life.
What if you start to be completely sincere with yourself? What if you start to express your feeling to others. To express what you really feel about. Feel not only think. Tell people that you love, express your love to others. How am I to do it? – you may ask. Simply, directly, profoundly, sincerely. Do not manipulate others. And moreover, do not manipulate yourself. Face the truth. Face the truth about yourself.
I can guarantee one thing here. It will be painful. It may be severe pain. Extreme pain. And this will raise you up. It will elevate you to the highest of YOU. And you will start to live, live your real , vivid life. I did it. I expressed clearly, deeply and profoundly my feelings. Was it rejected? Yes, I was rejected. My fear of being rejected was my deepest fear. I faced it, and I passed it. I feel stronger, and I do not regret it. It set me free. This is the paradox.
And when I was getting into that situation I asked myself: When dying, what would I regrett more:
- I told and I exposed myself for rejection?
- I did not tell and I sentenced myself for eternal sorrow that I had not even tried?
The answer was easy. Then decision, action, rejection. And I am still alive. 🙂 And I feel good, sure, and grounded. Such a paradox.
I regret I did not stay in touch with my friends.
How much time do you have for your relatives, for your friends? May you do not have because you work so hard for your success. You do not have.Because you devote your time for fulfilling the expectations of oother , for prestige, power, being on top. So You lack the time for real relationships.
I regrett I did not let myself to be happy.
It is conclusion from previous points. Do you feel happy ? When have you asked about it yourself lately? And when have you given an honest and sincere answer? And when you have given sincere answer,maybe you foud lots of excuses. Maybe you think you do not deserve to be happy? Maybe there is some fear from being happy? Look for your own answer. Where can you find it? There is such a place. It is called your heart.
So make decision- I change. And follow it.
PS- For me , Plumerias and turtles on Hawaii are really important, more than so called success.:)