No, that title isn’t typo.
Earlier this year, my friend Philip sent me a link to Bronnie Ware’s book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. My father and I actually referenced it in our new book, Wisdom Meets Passion. Suffice it to say, Ware’s findings were profound, and worth discussing.
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not the life others expected of me.
I wish I didn’t work so hard.
I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish I had let myself be happier
One could deduce that happiness, relationships and living out their dreams seemed to trump the quest to meet the status quo, collect achievements and pay the bills on time. I assume I’m not the only one that wasn’t shocked by these findings.
So, why wait on death to realize you haven’t lived? Why does it take tragedy to open our eyes? Why are all our favorite movies about someone overcoming tragedy and finally following their dreams into fruition? But somehow you convince yourself that only happens in Hollywood; it was just a nice story.
There are some consistently pervasive inhibitors to living the life we want. Tradition, fear, impatience and feeling inadequate are certainly big contributors. But the biggest of all is societies desire for safety and comfort. It’s the central governing component of the status quo.
At the end of your life, what will you be most proud of when you reflect back?
What will you care about most? Relationships? Money? Accomplishments? Adventure?
What are the moments you will cherish most?
Did your quest to meet the status quo provide you the life you dreamed of?
In the end, what will you be excited to tell your loved ones about your life?
Everyone knows that for every time you say you can’t do something, someone with far greater restrictions has done it better than you can imagine. People overcome great odds all the time. We make books and films from their stories.
But it’s easier, and certainly more convenient, to relegate these stories to the realm of the “extremely rare”. That’s why they remain extremely rare.
Will you wait on tragedy? Or will you start living out your dreams today? What does the world need most from you?
FREE TIP: It will never be “the right time” to start living the life you want. Do it now, before it’s too late.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman