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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 June 23, 2019

        20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

        20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

        Close your eyes and imagine that you’re at your own funeral—a bit morbid I know, but there’s a reason for it. Now think about what you’d like people to say about you. What kind of a life do you want to lead? People die with all kinds of regrets. Don’t be one of them.

        1. I wish I’d cared less about what other people think.

        It’s only when you realise how little other people are really thinking of you (in a negative sense) that you realise how much time you spent caring and wasting energy worrying about this.

        2. I wish I had accomplished more.

        You don’t have to have won an Oscar, built up a business or run a marathon, but having small personal accomplishments is important.

        3. I wish I had told __ how I truly felt.

        Even if the “one” doesn’t exist, telling someone how you truly feel will always save you from that gut wrenching”but what if…” feeling that could linger for life if you stay quiet.

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        4. I wish I had stood up for myself more.

        Sometimes, it’s too easy to think that if you go all out to please everyone you’ll be liked more or your partner won’t run off with anyone else. I think age probably teaches us to be nice but not at the expense of our own happiness.

        5. I wish I had followed my passion in life.

        It’s so easy to be seduced by a stable salary, a solid routine and a comfortable life, but at what expense?

        6. I wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.

        Life is short, and you never really know when the last time you speak to someone you love will be. It’s these moments that really stay clear in peoples’ minds.

        7. I wish I had let my children grow up to be who they wanted to be.

        The realisation that love, compassion and empathy are so much more important than clashes in values or belief systems can hit home hard.

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        8. I wish I had lived more in the moment.

        Watching children grow up makes you realise how short-lived and precious time really is, and as we age, many of us live less and less in the present.

        9. I wish I had worked less.

        There’s always a desire to have loosened up a bit more with this one and the realisation that financial success or career accomplishment doesn’t necessarily equal a fulfilled life.

        10. I wish I had traveled more.

        It can be done at any age, with kids or not but many talk themselves out of it for all kinds of reasons such as lack of money, mortgage, children, etc. When there’s a regret, you know it could have been possible at some stage.

        11. I wish I had trusted my gut rather than listening to everyone else.

        Making your own decisions and feeling confident in the decisions you make gives us fulfilment and joy from life. Going against your gut only breeds resentment and bitterness.

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        12. I wish I’d taken better care of myself.

        Premature health problems or ageing always makes you wonder if you’d eaten healthier, exercised more and been less stressed, would you be where you are today?

        13. I wish I’d taken more risks.

        Everyone has their own idea of what’s risky, but you know when you’re living too much in your comfort zone. In hindsight, some people feel they missed out on a lot of adventure life has to offer.

        14. I wish I’d had more time.

        Many people say time speeds up as we age. The six weeks of summer holidays we had as kids certainly seemed to last a lifetime. If time speeds up, then it’s even more important to make the most of every moment.

        15. I wish I hadn’t worried so much.

        If you’ve ever kept a diary and looked back, you’ll probably wonder why you ever got so worked up over X.

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        16. I wish I’d appreciated ___ more.

        The consequences of taking people for granted are always hard to deal with.

        17. I wish I’d spent more time with my family.

        Some people get caught up with work, move to other parts of the world, grow old with grudges against family members only to realise their priorities were in the wrong place.

        18. I wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously.

        Life is just more fun when you can laugh at yourself.

        19. I wish I’d done more for other people.

        Doing things for others just makes life more meaningful.

        20. I wish I could have felt happier.

        The realisation that happiness is a state of mind that you can control sometimes doesn’t occur to people until it’s too late.

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