Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying – Will You Regret These?

McKinley and I on the beach
McKinley And I Checking Out The Beach

This past weekend my wife, our 17 month old daughter, and I were on the Oregon beach (Florence, Oregon... awesome spot 90 mins from our house) for a little family weekend vacation.  There’s something about the beach (even our cold Oregon water 🙂 that just puts everything in perspective for me.

All weekend our little one was just drawn to our balcony overlooking the ocean.  Over and over she kept wanting us to go outside with her… and over and over again she lit up with happiness and pure excitement the second the ocean breeze hit her fair little hair.

But, one thing all weekend hit me like a ton of bricks and really put things into massive perspective for me (I get these perspective and purpose shifts a few times a year).  Kinley (that’s my nickname for her) didn’t want to go to sleep.  It was about 9pm… a bit past her normal bed time… and she wouldn’t calm down.  She wouldn’t hang out with us on the bed while we were reading, she wouldn’t play with her toys, she wouldn’t even think about going to bed. She kept pointing to the balcony door… toward the now chilly but insanely peaceful ocean outside.

So, Kinley and I grabbed a blanket… I wrapped her up in it… and we headed outside to hang out and just soak in the moment.  During that 35 minutes out there… Kinley was quiet… wrapped up in a blanket on my chest… and just looked back and forth between the ocean, the fully beaming moon, and up at me with her big blue eyes smiling.  I couldn’t help but be in the moment and really be struck with what life is truly all about.

When you strip away all of the material things and everything else we mark as “important” in our everyday lives… it all becomes trivial compared to what really matters in our lives.

That night and the next day (McKinley woke up early and wanted to go outside to watch the sunrise too… so we did, it was just as magical) I couldn’t help but think about how everything I do today… no matter if I feel it’s “productive” or not toward reaching my business goals… is a day I can’t relive twice.  And, every day behind us is one day less that we have in front of us to truly live the lives that we want to live.  That’s a powerful thing when you really think about it. When you really think about our mortality… that no matter how hard we try to stop it… or how hard we try to forget it… we’re not going to be forever and there will be a time in our lives where we’ll be faced with the moment when we have to look back at our lives and really ask “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” (as a mentor of mine always says).

Now, I’m not bringing up any of this to make you feel bad about what you’ve done (or not done) with your life up to this point.  In fact, just the opposite… I hope that what you’re about to read will actually help you live a much more full, fulfilling, rewarding, loving, fun, successful, and prosperous life from here on out.

The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying –

A couple weeks back a friend of mine forwarded me an article called “The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying“. I highly suggest you go read it for yourself after you put down this issue of SI Insider.  The article was titled “The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying”… and it was written by a gal who was a healthcare person (sorry for the non-technial title, lol) who cared for people through the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives.  And, through those conversations some amazing insights were seen… and we’ll now pass them along to you.

As you’re reading through these, visualize for yourself… what do you want to see when you look back at your life when your in your final days?  What feeling do you want to feel?  What stories do you want to tell? What legacy do you want to live?  That’s when it gets really powerful.

Alrighty… lets dive in one by one…

1) “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me”

2) “I wish I didn’t work 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”

Read the whole article here:

It’ll give you new perspective on life in this new year.

Bronnie (the author) sums the article up better than I ever could…

“When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind.  How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice.  It is YOUR life.  Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”

So, when are you going to decide to live fully?  When are you going to decide to “play full out” in life and give your goals everything you’ve got?  No better time than now… the start of a new year.  Hit me w/ your stories and make this month an epic month to remember by taking massive action and choosing to truly live and go after what you want in life.

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4 responses to “Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying – Will You Regret These?

  1.  I am currently reading “Life Lessons” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler, two experts on Death and Dying, who share important lessons that we get from our lives, our emotions, our fears, our anger, our shortcomings too, and it definitely covers the topics you brought up in your blogpost here.

    Choosing to truly live should take more than a month indeed, and be an art that we teach our children from birth, by example, and by regularly revisiting our core values.

    I agree that happiness is a choice. Not always an easy one though!

    Thanks for your blogpost.

    1. Hey Otir, thanks for the comment!  Ya, you nailed it. Its one of our responsibilities to really help our children learn to live life to the fullest with no limitations.  100% agree w/ ya.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Excellent article, Trevor. As the father of a 16-month-old son, it was particularly touching and poignant for me. This age is just incredible – they are little sponges soaking up new experiences. It’s such a treasure to see the world through their eyes, all brand new…

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