A few years ago, Bronnie Ware quit her unfulfilling job and took a job working in palliative care where she spend may years helping those who were dying. A few years later, she compiled a list of the 5 most common regrets expressed by the people she cared for. Here is the list:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard (meaning, they wished they had better balanced work versus key life events).
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
The full article is in this link:
Hopefully, none of us is nearing the end of our life. So, as we near the new year of 2016, let’s not look back with regrets. Rather, it may be more valuable to look at those things we do NOT regret. What are those things that we are glad that we did and would do all over again, if given the chance? Here are a few things that would be on my list:
I will not regret:
- Making sacrifices in my own career to participate in my kids’ activities, events, and fun
- Working to improve and expand my knowledge of quality, compliance, leadership, and manufacturing (my chosen profession)
- Taking the risk to move from quality to manufacturing and back again
- Standing firm in the face of severe pressure (at another company) to make the right decisions for our patients and company
- Striving to aid the careers of others and sharing the experiences I have had
- Speaking up or being in the minority view when needed
- Seeking to provide new experiences and fun and memories for our three children
- The time spend today with our grandchildren, even when they wear me out
- Seeking opportunities to write articles, get involved in industry groups, and speak in public when asked (no matter how much it took me out of my comfort zone)
- Commuting every week for 89 weeks to fulfill a promise to my daughter that she finish HS without moving
- Hiring or promoting great individuals early in their careers, then seeing them emerge as great leaders — then, hiring them again – some two, three, or more times (at least one individual four times!)
- Enjoying time sitting on my deck just enjoying the view, wildlife, or sunshine
- Volunteering to serve others in the community, our church, our neighborhood, or our company
- Those challenging days watching our teenagers struggle, but knowing they had to get through those times on their own
- Marrying the love of my life barely out of my teen years and growing up together
- Taking a demotion or lower paying job because I knew it was good in the long-term for my career
- The struggles and challenges of working in the pharmaceutical industry for over 35 years — even though, some days were very difficult
- Buying baseball memorabilia on E-Bay — even though my family will one day ask, “What do we do with all this old baseball junk?”
- Leaving a great job once to be closer to my ill father – even though he died three months later
My list could go on and on, but you get the picture. What do you NOT regret? And, as a result, what will you do intentionally today to make a difference for yourself or someone else? My last bullet reminds me of a quote I just ran into a few days ago:
“Spend time with your parents, treat them well. Because one day, when you look up from your phone, they won’t be there anymore.” —- Unknown
Have a terrific, “top ten” day! Enjoy what you do and be the kind of person that looks ahead with excitement, not behind with regrets.