George and Mary-Lynn

5 Biggest Regrets in Life

book page | BIGG SuccessThere’s a new book coming out by Bronnie Ware, a nurse who worked with people who had been sent home to die. It’s called Regrets of the Dying.

It’s ironic – if you want to learn how to live, talk to people who are about to die. She has a great post where she summarizes the top 5 regrets of the dying.

We want to share them with you today.

Hear George & Mary-Lynn share the 5 regrets on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. Click a player to listen.


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1) “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

The #1 regret sounds a lot like our definition of BIGG success. BIGG success is life on your own terms. You and you alone are the entrepreneur of a very special enterprise – your life. You have to take control so you have no regrets.

She makes an interesting point – her patients apparently realized less than half of their dreams. One of the reasons she cited for the shortfall is choices. It’s the choices they made or didn’t make.

It’s the life you choose. Too many people conform too much to other people’s expectations. The choices you make or don’t make determine your outcome.

Another interesting point is that health equals freedom. She says dying people wished they had pursued their dreams while they still could, while they still had their health.

If you put off everything until you have the time, you may not have the health to enjoy it.

2) “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

She said every single man she cared for cited this regret. She hastens to add that her patients largely grew up in an era where women were not breadwinners.

We think that one of the great lessons of the Great Recession is really a reminder. Material possessions not only don’t make us happy; they may actually keep us from being happy.

We have to work more to pay for them. So we have less time for people and projects we love.

We get a short-term bump in happiness. But it comes at the expense of long-term fulfillment.

BIGG success is life on your own terms.

You don’t have to keep up with your neighbors.

You don’t have to live like a celebrity.

You may live more by buying less so you work less.

3) “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

Keeping peace with others means little if it leaves you with no peace of mind.

Remember, when you express your feelings, the good people in your life will care. They want you to feel good.

The people who don’t care? Well, you probably know what needs to be done there for your own peace of mind.

4) “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

We believe that, ultimately, life is about two things: relationships and experiences. Experiences with people you love.

Once again, you need to reach out to these people before it’s too late. While you still have your health. While you can both still enjoy the time together.

5) “I wish I had let myself be happier.”

Bronnie says, “Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.” How true.

Based on what she learned from her patients, she warns us to not get stuck in old patterns and habits. Don’t be afraid of change. Laugh. Be silly again.

We’ve talked many times before about the importance of maintaining your child-like nature.

Note the term – child-like, not childish.

We’re so afraid of looking immature that we don’t play.

We’re so serious that we completely miss out on the fun.

We’re so worried about being embarrassed that we’re afraid to look naïve.

We’re so busy being cynical that we’ve lost our innocence.

Yes, happiness is a choice. It’s not about what you have or what you’ve done. It’s about being who you are to become all that you can be. Happiness leads to BIGG success and BIGG success leads to happiness.

Get on Bronnie’s mailing list so you can be notified when her book is available. There’s a lot more to learn.

We never regret when you spend some time with us. Thanks so much.

Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00720-072111.mp3

Image in this post from mikhas

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10 Responses to 5 Biggest Regrets in Life

  1. [...] You’re in charge of a very special enterprise – your life. It’s up to you to take the reigns, to take control, so you don’t end your life with regrets. [...]

    • Jim Jensen says:

      Very true but mistakes can occur. We must learn from them and not continue to kick ourselves. Easier said than done. We cannot recapture time lost spending with friends but we can rekindle if possible or at least attempt to spend as much time as possible current family and friends. Unfortunately, current gas prices will alter many family travel plans this summer.

  2. [...] The BIGG Success Show recently, we talked about the five top regrets in life. The biggest regret cited by dying patients is not living life on their own terms. That’s our [...]

  3. Great article. Very sobering. Thought of all the times I could have, should have, would have done something but didn’t. But also realise that living with regrets is a lose-lose situation…for we can not change the past. Instead, I choose to learn from regrets.

    Thank you for writing!

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  5. [...] inspired you to get it? Megan: Honestly? I’ve always loved tattoos. I read an article a while ago about biggest regrets in life. The #1 regret was “Not having the courage to live [...]

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