They say hindsight is 20/20, and I find it very informative to find out what people wish they had done or are very happy they did, either at the end of a school year or sitting in a rocking chair on a porch in retirement. So this bit of anecdotal evidence is interesting, and while none of the regrets are surprising it’s good affirmation of what people’s priorities in life should be.
…the following regrets were first posted in The Observer in 2010, and we’ve recopied them for you here below. But instead of just the grandmotherly bits of advice about dreams having gone unfulfilled, we’ve supplemented each regret with some rockstar advice on how to not have these regrets in the digital age.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
TNW Advice: We interview so many entrepreneurs here at The Next Web, some of whom will succeed, most of whom will fail. But it’s about going out and creating a reality out of what was once just an idea in your head.
read all 5 regrets, plus the added bits of TNW advice at The top 5 regrets people make on their deathbeds – Lifehacks.
What the five regrets basically constitute are making time for themselves, their friends and family, taking risks rather than playing it safe, and just giving space in their lives for happiness.
This is a really good exercise to do at any time, to see if you’re really living the life you want and what you can do to change it.
If you were told you were going to die tomorrow, this evening, whatever, what would your regrets be?
Mine would be:
1. Not taking that hiking vacation through Europe.
2. Not taking a sabbatical, more time for me.
3. Not finishing my thesis.
4. Not spending more time with my sister the last couple of years before she died, which translates into generally just spending more time with others I love before they kick the bucket.
5. Not starting a family.