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What are the Most Common Regrets of the Dying?

Oli Scarff, Getty Images

We only have a certain amount of sand in the hourglass, so we need to make sure the grains count before it’s too late.

A woman named Bronnie Ware who once worked as a nurse has put out a list of the five most common regrets she encountered with people who were dying.

Topping the list was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Have you ever given into peer pressure? Gone into a career because it’s what your family wanted? If you have, you’re not alone. Ware claims this was the most common regret and she encourages people to “honor at least some of your dreams along the way.”

We all grew up being told that hard work pays off, but Ware’s experiences would seem to indicate we need to stop making the office the focal point of our lives. Second on her list was “I wish I didn’t work so hard.” Ware claims she heard this refrain from every man in her care, adding they were sorry earning a living got in the way of life’s true joys, like seeing Junior grow up to become a man in his own right.

Ware rounds out her list with people who said, “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” Too many people, she claims, are nothing but actors on a stage called life, putting on a veil of contentment, while covering up how they really feel.

Alright, now that we’ve had some time to reflect, why don’t you do something to make yourself feel better? Go eat a big fat chocolate chip cookie. Take in the sunrise. Give the people in your life a hug.


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