Jun 29 2013

Living without Regrets

Ever get to the end of a school year, Labor Day or December 31 and think “if only I’d…?” Avoiding that sense of regret is why my friends – Gina and Blake Remington – started a really great tradition, after realizing that they focused too much on regret and too little on living.

A few years ago they took out a calendar, pens and two notebooks and sat on their floor to discuss their hopes and dreams. They’ve had their “Hopes and Dreams” date every year since. Over the years, they have talked about personal and shared goals, from the practical (sticking to a budget, attending a particular conference) to the fun (driving the Seward Highway, completing a 150-mile bike tour for MS research).

Gina and Blake’s story should be an inspiration to us all, especially after you read Bronnie Ware’s writing again.

Bronnie Ware, who for many years worked in palliative care, was overwhelmed by the amount of regret she encountered among her dying patients.  In their final days, Bronnie’s patients often admitted their biggest regrets. Moved by what they said, Bronnie recorded their thoughts, eventually compiling them into a book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Those five regrets, according to Bronnie, are:

  1. “I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  2. “I wish I didn't work so hard.”
  3. “I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.”
  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
  5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

Avoiding the heartache of these regrets and the regret loved ones are left with when forced to make difficult decisions on your behalf is why Scott and I created MyDirectives.

We both experienced firsthand the regret and turmoil. Nobody should have to experience that pain and guilt.

How do you want to live your whole life? What are you worried about regretting? Have a “Hopes and Dreams” date and take steps to avoid that regret.


Bronnie Ware Dreams Hopes

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