Sunday, January 22, 2012

No Regrets

At the end of our lives, we don't want regrets.  We don't want to look back and realize we could have been happier if only we'd made different choices.

It's valuable to see what people do regret when they're on death's doorstep so we can avoid making those mistakes ourselves.  You and I still have time to enjoy life, so let's not squander opportunities in front of us.

I just read an instructive article written by a nurse who cared for many dying people.  She reports that most regrets are very common -- and easily avoided.  Learning not to make these wrong choices can help us have a full, rich life now.

You can read the full article here.  A summary of the five most common regrets:

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.



Do these make sense to you?  Are you living a life you will be content with when you're old?

28 comments:

  1. My dad died at a very young age: 55. I was 29. His motto was always "no regrets." He said, "You might regret doing something you shouldn't have, but you will always regret not doing something you wanted to do."

    I love your "poster" and your Warhols! I think you need to have a wall of them in your home!

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  2. I think I read this article a while ago and I couldn't agree more heartily! These were exactly the resolutions I made a few years ago when I hit a low point in my life - and while they've necessitated some painful decisions, and some lack of understanding from others, they have so far made me much happier!

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  3. Interesting. I know if I keep living how I am right now, I will have regrets. But I know a change is coming, sooner or later, so I'm happy for now. Sometimes I feel like I'm torn between two lives...I could be small town Ashley: stay around here, find an ok job, buy an ok house, and have an ok (and simple) life. But I don't think I'd be happy with that. I think I'd constantly have regrets. I'd see people on TV or read about people in books and think, "Goddamn. That coulda been me." So I think I've got to choose to be brave Ashley, who takes chances and makes choices that aren't necessary, but needed.

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  4. My personal motto is very similar to Sheila's dad: I'd rather regret something I've done, than something I only wish I'd done. If I died next week the only thing I would regret is not having more time to enjoy all the things that make me happy right now. It's sad that there are so many people who don't live the life they want, and that aren't true to themselves. Interestingly I think the "normal" life path is actually not the ideal situation for a lot of people, and seems to be the one most likely to lead to regrets later on. People who take the safe route almost always wish they'd taken a few more risks in life.

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  5. Those pictures are EPIC. How neat!

    My one regret is I didn't stand up for myself in High School when I played on the basketball team. I got pushed around a lot and had super low self-esteem because of it Still, I'm doing what I love and I don't take shit from people these days. I've never been happier and more content!

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  6. I think I struggle balancing my happiness versus what's expected off me. Also, I need to take more risks. Thanks for reminding me! :)

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

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  7. Great post
    I quit my job to be an artist, I am just
    starting really, not a steady income, but I am happier then
    when I was at my "normal" job.
    I totally agree with you.
    Thanks for sharing

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  8. I regret a lot of my choices up until I was about 16 when I started making my own decisions, like graduating early, making new friends who weren't stuck in that "normal" lane of life, getting married (18), moving out, and generally taking charge of my own life. I've never been happier than I have since then.

    I agree with both Audi and Sheila's dad. I'd rather live and be happy or sad based on my own choices than regret all that I didn't do. I'm a very decided person.

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  9. The photos are wonderful, wonderful. I saw this same article, but I wonder if even when we DO try to live so as not to have regrets, there is still something we regret...as all of life is full of choices, the paths not taken.

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  10. These list seems pretty great. At this point I don't think there are many things I'll really regret but I'm pretty sure I have plenty of time to form some bad habits. There are already friends that I regret not staying in touch with, it's can be hard and takes real effort to keep in touch with people. But I think it's really worth it if the person is awesome.
    I've also worked terrible service jobs because they paid well and I learned that the money wasn't worth it. I'm at that point again in my life. The coffers are pretty full and the experience is in. It's time to seek out a job that I love what I am doing and not just a paycheck.

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  11. What did I miss? What's the story of people looking at those shots of you hanging on a wall?

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  12. "I wish I had let myself be happier."
    Yeah ... I work hard. I play harder, though. There are times when I say "eff it" to all of my work and homework and just have fun. Sometimes, you need to.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  13. I think when I hit college I decided I was just going to be me. Guess what? People still love me. I live in a small fashion-backwards county so I get stared at and I don't give a crap. I'm fabulous and so are you!

    http://theclosetintervention.blogspot.com/

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  14. Like others have already mentioned, I regret things I didn't do or things that I waited to do. I should have cut off contact with my abusive family members years before I did, but at least I did it eventually.

    I love the Andy Warhol pictures of you! So fun. :)

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  15. There is a lot I should regret - addiction to meth amphetamines, marrying the wrong man, dropping out of college, allowing myself to fall into debt - but I don't. Those things are over and done and have been let go. To regret them would imply a level of caring for the subject I no longer possess.

    Good questions these past few posts! You really know how to get discussions going! :)

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  16. I am now that I gave up work! I adore the paintings & poster of you Ally, you're a star!!
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  17. I think these are things that most of us battle with. I certainly try hard to keep up with my friends however the others are a daily challenge. Thanks again for a thought provoking post special one.

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  18. 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
    Not a regret for me, I actually enjoy living life through others, through their experiences. While I need to come to terms with who I am and my own identity, the fact that I can learn and grow through another is what makes this life interesting.

    2. I wish I didn't work so hard. -I don't think I work enough. Yes its always work work work to make a pay check, but I think I am not working hard enough to get where i need to be. Its more that I wish the hard work that I am doing is rewarded more often

    3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
    The only feeling I have trouble expressing is the love I have with people. Rejection which happens frequently is the drive which makes me swallow up my feelings of love

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
    Yes..i regret this. But I am changing it. I am so quick to recycle my friends, that I forget the true ones that have been there the longest. I want to change that

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
    I always have the opportunity to be happier....

    These regrets are all things that can be changed. I think my regrets are the unchanged ones. Things I can not fix, or change and those that are done is done....

    As an aside..LOVE the new pictures. Different hair, Different Pose, Different backgrounds!! Nice! Love the Ally Warhol!

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  19. Gr8 blog :)....Wanna follow each other with GFC, Twitter and Facebook ?

    ♡ StylishByNature.com

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  20. I really like that fist picture.... so fun.
    I have been hearing this the last couple of weeks (maybe it's a message from above ?) about when people get older they usually focus on what they did not do.
    Well you know part of my story... and I am still struggling on hanging on and letting go.
    On doing what is "right" - and then I have second thoughts on it - thinking if i will regret it one day...

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  21. Whoa, first of all those images are visually striking.

    Second, have you ever seen the movie "Yes Man!" (it stars Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel...
    anyways in that film Jim Carrey's character creates this mindset for himself where he says YES to everything. For example: a friend wants to hang out, someone wants him to do this yadayada etc.

    It is truly inspiring in a quirky kind of way. xoxo

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  22. That's a pretty powerful list. I am always making myself feel guilty about something or other; sometimes I will pull something out of thin air to feel guilty about that is really not worth my energy. So I think some of the things I "regret" really aren't as huge as I think they are. But, in general, I do try to have as good of a balance between family, friends, work, self, etc. as I can. I feel like I am juggling a whole lot of balls, and I feel like those I care about (except for baby, of course!) suffer sometimes because I can't give 100% to everybody all the time. But I do my best, and as long as I do that, I shouldn't have any regrets. Your blog always makes me want to ramble! lol I do think I do a good job of expressing my feelings and allowing myself to be as happy as possible. After my mom died, it was such a long time before I would give myself permission to TRULY feel happy. But I let myself now because I know I deserve that. The older I get and the more confident I get, the easier it becomes to take risks of things I always wanted to do. It's like, why the hell not? And once I've done them, it feels so great and empowering, and then I wonder what took me so long.

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  23. Hmmm I definitely ascribe to #1 & 2 regrets in many ways. Something I am working on so I don't regret life choices later on. When I made the decision to leave my Master's program (which I was mainly doing because others wanted me to) I actually wrote "Live life with no regrets" on my whiteboard and only just erased it. Life's too short!

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  24. 1 and 2 ring true for me. I have become better at #3. I used to let people run all over me and now I tell them off when it is needed.

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  25. That first picture of you is just stunning :)

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  26. ahhh I know what website these pics are fun! That is the most awesome website ever. I can play around with it for hours. The first pic is very classy! Love the colorful one too. I hate when people take life too seriously. Sometimes I look back at things that I was once worried about and just think what a waste of time my stress was haha.

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  27. The short answer is Yes. And I'm always working on it. I never want to forget that it's my life and I get to make a lot of decisions every day to make my life better.
    xo, f

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  28. I've never learned more from my father - who was my mentor - than in the last few months of his life... And it is so true about how "happy" is a choice...

    I forwarded her article to my bf. We are going to the funeral of a friend today. He was 50 and died of a heart attack while driving home from his girlfriend's (also our friend) who's mother had died that day. She lost her mother and boyfriend all in one day.

    This isn't a dress rehearsal friends...

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