The Top 10 Regrets in Life By Those About to Die
Pictures taken during our 2010 trip to New York
1. “Never pursuing dreams and aspirations”
The number one regret we found that people have on their death beds is that they were never brave enough to pursue their dreams, but settled for what others expected of them.
When they look back at their lives, they tend to recall their unreached goals and aspirations.
They are often haunted by decisions that resulted in the lives they ended up with. While you still have a lot of years to live, be sure to make some time for reaching your dreams.
Start working toward your goals now; don’t keep putting things off until it’s too late.
|2. “I worked too much and never made time for my family”|
Excessive dedication to work causes a person to spend less time with their loved ones. Parents can even miss out on the lives of their children, because they spent their best years pursuing careers and making money.
Everybody needs to work to generate income, and money is necessary to sustain our lifestyles. But don’t ever sacrifice your family time just to make more money. It would do you good to determine what is really important. Do away with unnecessary expenses and things that only crowd your life – this will make room for improved relationships and better lifestyle choices.
|3. “I should have made more time for my friends”|
When health and youth have faded, people realize what are truly valuable – they find that all their income and achievements amount to nothing in the end. What really matters in those last few moments are the people who are dear to them. At that time, they tend to miss their friends. It’s so easy to get lost in the daily grind that you forget to take care of your relationships.
If you don’t intentionally stay in touch, you may lose contact with your friends through the years.
|4. “I should have said ‘I Love You’ a lot more”|
The importance of love becomes more pronounced towards the end of life. At this time, unreturned of love will also be more painful. It can be hard to tell someone that you love them, especially if you fear rejection.
But not being able to express those feelings will leave an unsettled need in you, and possibly affect all future relationships. If you are afraid of getting hurt, remember that it’s better to make your love known than to spend the rest of your life dwelling on what could have been.
|5. “I should have spoken my mind instead of holding back and resenting things”|
A lot of people choose not to confront those who offend them, thinking that this would keep things civil. In truth, suppressing anger breeds bitterness, which leads to various diseases. Harboring bitterness also makes you emotionally crippled and prevents you from fulfilling your true potential. If you want to have healthy relationships, honesty and confrontation are necessary. The common misconception about confrontation is that it creates division. In reality, if it’s done kindly and constructively, confrontation deepens mutual respect and understanding.
When you express negative emotions properly, it also allows you to let go of the resentment so you don’t have to carry it for the rest of your life.
|6. “I should have been the bigger person and resolved my conflicts”|
A lot of times, death beds and funerals are more miserable because of broken relationships that were never restored. Relationships are ruined when misunderstandings are not dealt with immediately; this may result in a lifetime of hostility.
Conflicts are a part of life; you can’t avoid them, but you should never let your anger last for more than a day. Choose to forgive. Right the wrongs that you can, while you can.
|7. “I wish I had children”|
As people age, they often feel lonely and long for the company of their sons and daughters. Those who never had children often have regrets about having no one to comfort them or inherit their legacy. With today’s modern thinking, kids may be viewed as inconveniences or hindrances to pursuing your goals. But keep in mind that your children will be the ones to show you love when you are old. They will also be the ones to whom you will entrust everything you’ve worked hard for after you’re gone.
|8. “I should have saved more money for my retirement”|
Failing to plan for the retirement years leaves people destitute in their old age. When that happens, their last moments on earth can be very difficult and miserable. While you are young, you might not yet grasp the reality of retirement, but it’s important to make a plan for yourself. Be careful not to spend too much on things you think you need now; think about providing a comfortable life for yourself in the future.
|9. “Not having the courage to live truthfully”|
Looking back, people would wonder whether things would have been better if they were truly honest about who they really are. They think about the distress they caused themselves and others by pretending to be someone they’re not. You will naturally have concerns about whether people would reject you or accept you if you came clean; you might find it easier to compromise yourself just to be liked or loved. There are some situations when things need to be kept hidden, but honesty is generally admired. If you are reviled for who you really are, then that’s how you can determine the people who really love you. If you don’t yet have the courage to be truthful to others, you can start being truthful to yourself.
|10. “Happiness is always a choice, I wish I knew that earlier”|
People rarely realize that they can choose to be happy. It’s so easy to play the victim of circumstance and prevent yourself from moving on in your life. You tend to settle for mediocrity because it’s familiar; you pretend to be content because you’re too afraid to explore. Make a choice to have a happy life. Take responsibility… its your attitude and aptitude that determines your altitude! Be unafraid of change, and don’t worry about what others think of you. Learn to relax and appreciate the good things.