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These 20 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds Will Change Your Life

These 20 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds Will Change Your Life

You’re going to die someday. 

Perhaps the 5 most powerful words ever spoken to me. No matter how immortal we feel waltzing through life’s ups and downs, we all must someday stare death in its devious eyes as we reflect on our lives. Life is complex, sure. That’s a given. But if you really ponder for a moment, it can be boiled down to 2 feelings you’ll most likely be met with on your deathbed:

Triumph or regret.

Thankfully, every day is a great day to get better. Every day is a perfect day to change the track of your life, to reroute the potentially destructive path of a life wasted.

What better place to start than people in their final days:

1. I wish I wouldn’t have compared myself to others.

Everyone struggles with this, but there’s nearly nothing that’s so detrimental to fulfillment. Instead of comparing yourself to your friends, family, or idols, reflect on how far you’ve come as a person, even if it’s just the person you were yesterday.

2. I wish I’d taken action and dove in head first.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: there is no “right way.” So many people are paralyzed by the idea of what they want to be because they worry it won’t happen as quickly as they want. Well, it won’t. But what’s worse than dedicating time to your dream each day and seeing snail-like progress? A life wasted doing things you don’t want to.

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3. I wish I’d tuned the world out more.

Everyone around you tries to dictate what you are or who you should be, but you let them. No one needs to validate your worth besides yourself, and you will someday deeply regret if you spend your life pleasing the world around you. Don’t worry about pleasing your parents, friends, or bosses. You need to worry about number 1 first and foremost. Always.

4. I wish I didn’t wait to “start it tomorrow.”

Excuses are plentiful because they’re so easy to make. You will always find reasons to validate your inaction, and this is a common cause of deathbed regret. The things you want to do tomorrow can effortlessly turn into things you wish you did 50 years ago.

5. I wish I’d taken more chances.

The fear of rejection or failure dissipates in the face of death. The pretty girl you didn’t ask out on a date, the job you didn’t apply for because you felt under qualified, or the business you believed in but didn’t start will weigh heavier on your shoulders than falling flat on your face and learning.

6. I wish I would have kept going.

Even if you are brave enough to take the chance, failure happens. Where this failure can turn into major regret, however, is a decision to quit. When you let the pressure of falling short overcome your love for your endeavor, you lost. Keep going.

7. I wish I’d told others how much I love them.

    Photo credit: Source

    Everyone wants to feel appreciated, but very few are wiling to tell others how much they appreciate them. So often we are wrapped up in gaining love but fail to give it to the ones we care about most. Tell them often, before it’s too late.

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    8. I wish I was content with what I have.

    Be it more money, more recognition, or more options, we always want more of something. Very few are able to take an honest step back and recognize that what they have is more than enough. It’s always good to want more from life, but it’s essential to truly appreciate what you have.

    9. I wish I took better care of my body.

    Today’s society tells us that “taking care of yourself” is synonymous with a chiseled six pack. This is by no means true. Making healthy choices is important in all facets of life, not just physical exercise. Not eating junk food, not smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and not drinking every weekend are 3 pretty easy ways to start.

    10. I wish I’d listened to others more.

    Everyone thinks they’re right all the time and everyone has opinions that they sometimes force on others. It’s alright to have them, but it’s more important to have the ability to listen. Even if you don’t agree with the point of view, challenge yourself to hear others without passing judgement.

    11. I wish I’d have not held that grudge.

    It’s discouraging when someone hurts you, especially if that person means a lot to you. But harboring grudges hurts you in the long term more than it did initially.

    12. I wish I’d have traveled more.

      Photo credit: Source

      People often mistake that “traveling” has to involve a foreign country and a couple thousand dollars. Phooey. Jump in the car, drive an hour to a nearby city, and explore something you haven’t before. Don’t jail yourself in your house because of erroneous notions of what it means to travel.

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      13. I wish I’d have laughed it off.

      You take yourself far too seriously. Heck, we all do. One of the major regrets people have in life is simply taking life too seriously. Bad things are bound to happen, sure. But they’re pretty much always not as bad as we make them out to be in our head. And isn’t life way more fun if we’re chuckling along with it?

      14. I wish I’d left work at work (for only 40 hours per week).

      Humans are hard wired to work and provide for the ones they love. However, this often comes at the expense of our loved ones because we spend so much stinking time wrapping things up at the office or putting in a couple hours emailing on the weekends. Here’s a newsflash: your job is going to still be there and exist when you die, but it’ll be someone else in the seat neglecting their family instead. Don’t let that happen.

      15. I wish I stayed in touch with friends.

      It’s normal for people to fall out of touch, but often it’s a result of a “they didn’t call me so they don’t miss me” mentality. If you truly miss someone and are wondering how they’re doing, chances are the other party is feeling the same way. Be the first to call, write, or visit. You’ll be glad you did.

      16. I wish I was more aware of the real world around me.

      I don’t believe this is a huge concern for people currently on their deathbeds, but for the millennial generation this will be a huge regret. We’re constantly plugged in everywhere we go. This encourages us to unconsciously ignore the beauty that surrounds us every day. Unplug and look up. You’ll be more satisfied with what you find than whatever drama Shandra is starting on Facebook.

      17. I wish I had more confidence in myself.

      Everyone is self conscious, especially those who appear very cocky and sure of themselves. A big mistake people make in life is not truly believing in their own ability. It’s such a shame because it’s so easy. Only you need to validate your worth.

      18. I wish I trusted my intuition.

      That little voice in the back of your head is there for a reason. Sadly, for many of us that voice can be self defeating and quite harsh about life. There are, however, many other occasions where that voice is the megaphone for the heart, telling you what you truly desire and deeply want. Listen to it.

      19. I wish I ran with a better crowd.

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        Photo credit: Source

        Choose to believe this or not, but you are a direct result of the people you surround yourself with. If you run with idiots, chances are high you will become one. The beauty of life is that we have the conscious choice on who we spend our time with and what we spend our time doing. I can’t speak for you, but I seek people who will always challenge, encourage, and push me grow.

        20. I wish I walked the walk.

        Far too many people are good at vocalizing the life they want, but are horrendous at putting a plan into action to get there. It’s not enough to dream out loud, or quietly in your head. You must absolutely need to put yourself out there and leap into action.

        We can all relate to the struggles and battles that life brings, but that doesn’t mean we have to roll over and take it. It’s tough, sure, but anything that’s worthwhile is. It really comes down to a simple choice: struggle for fulfillment now or wish you did in your final moments alive.

        Only you can decide.

        Featured photo credit: Holding Hands with Elderly Patient / Catholic Lane via catholiclane.com

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        Last Updated on August 19, 2019

        How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

        How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

        We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

        When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

        In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

        Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

        If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

        According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

        No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

        When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

        Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

        1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

        When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

        Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

        When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

        Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

        In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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        It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

        You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

        Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

        What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

        You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

        That’s where we all should be.

        So, answer me this:

        How are you, really?

        And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

        Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

        Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

        Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

        Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

        It’s taking control.

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        2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

        You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

        You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

        In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

        Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

        You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

        Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

        But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

        It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

        In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

        It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

        Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

        Change will happen.

        Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

        You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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        And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

        You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

        That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

        You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

        When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

        There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

        3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

        Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

        In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

        If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

        Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

        Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

        How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

        Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

        “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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        Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

        Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

        It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

        Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

        “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

        What would you do if you felt you were enough?

        By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

        So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

        Final Thoughts

        By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

        Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

        When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

        You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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        Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

        Reference

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