Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.

      Advertising

        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

        More by this author

        These 20 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds Will Change Your Life This Short Animation Reveals A Brutal Truth About Life That Everyone Should Watch What You Need to Remember to Deal With Loss in Life Opposites Attracts: Couples with Different Characters Work Well There’s A Lot To Reflect On The Way We Date Today

        Trending in Communication

        1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Published on May 18, 2021

        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

        We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

        The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

        Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

        Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

        Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

        There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

        Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

        Advertising

        Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

        We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

        Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

        A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

        The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

        Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

        Advertising

        Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

        Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

        Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

        While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

        Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

        These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

        Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

        Advertising

        Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

        Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

        Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

        Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

        Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

        Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

        As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

        Advertising

        This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

        Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

        Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

        These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

        Actions Speak Louder Than Words

        Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

        Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

        Advertising

        Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

        More Tips Improving Listening Skills

        Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next