Shayna Schmidt | June 23, 2018

"No regrets"

"No regrets," you swear to yourself every day. It's a common promise. But the daily grind may cause us to wonder, "Am I making the most of my time on Earth? Am I fulfilling my 'purpose?' Am I happy?"

Older people often express how incredulous they are about how they've wasted time. They wonder how they could have spent so much time worrying about this petty fight with a family member, or that time so and so betrayed them. Ultimately, we all often wish that we could have do-overs every once in a while. But once we learn that every experience is a positive one as long as we are making the most of each day and showing up fully as our authentic selves, we can stop looking in the rearview mirror. But we can also learn from those who feel they have not done so. 

Bronnie Ware's regret research

Bronnie Ware is an end-of-life care nurse who wrote a book about what the people she interviewed told her were their top regrets. We thought it would be interesting to share the top 3.

  1. I wish I hadn't worked so much and/or so hard. This came from every single male patient she cared for. They regretted spending so much of their lives on the “treadmill of a work existence.”
  2. I wish I would have let myself be happier. Most of us are obsessed with success, achievement and acquiring things. But are those the same thing as happiness? When you achieve a goal, the happiness about doing so is often short-lived, because you’re already off chasing the next thing. Happily achieve; don’t achieve to be happy. Also… “let myself.” Notice that they presented it as a choice.
  3. I wish I would have stayed in touch with my friends. It's common for many of us to let friendships slip when we're busy. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the people. All that remains in our final days is love and relationships.

Our challenge for you

Sometimes we become addicted to accumulating things, to “crushing our goals,” to being successful, and we forget to choose joy, love and connection. So, we challenge you today:

  1. Choose today to connect with someone.
  2. Choose today to remind yourself of what brought you joy as a child and do some of that.
  3. Choose today to be happy.  

Happy Mindset Monday.