The five regrets


(One of my friends here sent me a link while commenting on “Insult the dead”. I checked it and I stumbled upon a very interesting text by Bonnie Ware. Below a resumée: )
 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

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

When people realize 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 had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

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

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

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Comments

  1. […] The five regrets. Share this:TwitterFacebookMoreLinkedInEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  2. Nina Correas says:

    Hola Paulo,
    me imagino que recibiras correos cada segundo del dia, asi que de ante mano se que sera practicamente imposible que leas todos tus correos…pero lo voy a intentar de todos los modos…quizas tenga suerte.
    Estoy tratando de empezar mi tesis doctoral en literatura con la Universidad de Valencia. Desde que lei por primera vez El Alquimista decidi que haria mi tesis sobre tu obra y por eso me gustaria ponerme en contacto contigo. Mi correo es ninaracha@yahoo.com.
    Si puedes dedicarme unos minutos de tu vida, te aseguro que me harias estar dando saltos de alegria durante los proximos cien anos.
    Sinceramente,
    Nina Correas

  3. nasudi says:

    feelings and love-are the engines of this life

  4. Gyaneshwar says:

    really true …
    i we should realize these things as soon as possible if we really want to enjoy
    our life

  5. Letizia says:

    I would have regret number 3:
    I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

  6. mrm says:

    ur words urges me to smile ,v nice job paulo

  7. Ibti says:

    ℒℴѵℯ✿¸¸.•*❤☼ℒℴѵℯ✿¸¸.•*❤☼ℒℴ­­ѵℯ✿¸¸.•*❤☼ℒℴ­­ѵℯ✿ You

  8. Maria says:

    Paulo, tem um vídeo q resume bem as fases.
    É mto fofinho, com uma girafa.
    Não sei se tá dando pra postar links aqui, mas vou deixar de qq jeito ok.
    Bjo, Deus te ilumine

    As 5 fases da areia movediça pela girafa

  9. archi baranwal says:

    how well m i able to connect.. :)

  10. Ibti says:

    Dear Paulo, I believe that Life is a destiny, but Happiness is a choice– the wisest of all choices; ”wiseness” is not a way, but it is the only way which leads to live in peace… Thank you for the meaningful story, and allow me to add one of your best sayings. “Live with no regrets, and love with no excuses.” (Aleph)
    Life is transient, and those few words are more than enough for life………

    Much luv!

  11. Christiane Tsouo-Harvey says:

    I am working on those 5 points every day and I am getting ready to die when it’s my time…… Someone said “your whole life you learn out to die”

  12. Nada says:

    Lana del rey reminds me of your books, they work in harmony together. especially “born to die” wi “Brida”. Up until now I read 4 of your books, starting the 5 and I’m planning to read the rest of them.

    Thank you for you wise words, Books make you forget about life, but yours is one of a kinds, its a mixture of reality, Cultures , Information and Imagination.

    I am a painter bdw, so Also your books go in harmony with my own themes.

  13. Raquel says:

    La felicidad parece una opción cuando se tiene todo. Cuando se vive en un mundo de sombras no hay opción. Las tormentas te arrastras como si fueras un maniquí. La energía del universo te jala a un polo mientras que la negra te ata al dolor. Aquí radica la posibilidad de utilizar tus poderes para salir del ocaso y convertirte en sol. Es una batalla difícil de lograr pero no imposible, a seguir caminando por los bosques de la vida.

  14. Julia says:

    I think it is not too late for all of us who read that article :) Let’s learn from mistakes of others

  15. Lily says:

    it´s true, really i apreciate all the publications of coelho, ´cause this help to me in moments that i feel confusion, “the warrior of ligth” is one of books that i love so much.
    i want to know about more reflections!!!

    thak you

  16. Muhammad Kamran says:

    Really true. I am living my life according to my wishes uptill now and by tha grace of Allah, I will live the rest like it. Be happy

  17. Arto Hutto says:

    In Swedish:

    Om du dör imorgon: kommer du dö i frid?

    Här är 5 klassiska ånger…

    1. Jag önskar jag haft mod att leva ett liv sant för mig själv, inte ett liv andra förväntade sig av mig.
    2. Jag önskar jag inte arbetat så hårt.
    3. Jag önskar jag haft modet att uttrycka mina känslor.
    4. Jag önskar jag hållit kontakten med mina vänner.
    5. Jag önskar jag hade låtit mig själv vara lyckligare.

    http://www.facebook.com/PauloCoelhoSverige

  18. farve says:

    yeah u’r right…i think i must rock my world :)

  19. Branka says:

    All I’ve done 1 to 4
    I regret that I did not fully 5
    I always did what I wanted and loved, I did not care for gossip and criticism (f not helpful)
    I am working hard but I left that job because I had no life, I gave birth and I am unemployed and I am happy
    alwAll the friends I have lost the war (we were in contact) I found through facebook and I was happy, there are still few that I have seen and heard
    But … I was always striving to better and bigger because I was not too happy that I enjoyed rather than in what God has given me … now I try to straightenays express their feelings whatever it may be, love, fear all

  20. CATHAL BYRNE says:

    I CAN’T SAY THAT I HAVE NO REGRETS BUT THE FIVE LISTED ARE NOT AMONG MINE AND I KNOW THAT THAT MAKES ME A VERY LUCKY MAN.
    I FEEL THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE I KNOW WILL REGRET NOT DOING OR TRYING THINGS AND YET I AM OCCASIONALLY CASTIGATED BY THESE SAME PEOPLE FOR THE LIFE I LIVE.
    LIFE IS THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT WE HAVE AND TO MY MIND, THE GREATEST SIN AGAINST GOD AND AGAINST OURSELVES IS TO NOT LIVE IT TO THE MOST.
    GOOD LUCK !!!