What I Learned From The Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying

Ambitious Resilience, Change & Reinvention, Human First Leadership

Last week I wrote about doing a premortem on your work/life balance using Bronnie Ware’s The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying.

As a palliative care nurse, she spent over ten years caring for patients in their last twelve weeks of life. Bronnie turned her insight into a blog, then a book.

Spoiler alert: You already know what they are and aren’t paying enough attention to them.

  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 hadn’t worked 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.

To benefit from this wisdom, I wrote a letter from my 90 year old self to my 45 year old self.

Turns out my 90 year of self is a sassy and smart woman with phenomenal clarity!

Hey Jaz

I know how partial you are to the odd list so I’ve written one for you. Do me a favour and actually complete this one.

  1. Be braver and say yes more – especially when it’s in line with what you want from life.
  2. Be braver and say no more – especially when it is taking you away from what you were put on the planet to do.
  3. Hang out with the humans you like more – make family, friends and fun part of your everyday.
  4. Don’t overcommit yourself – make space for joy so that you can show up and shine. More human BEING, less human DOING 
  5. Swap ‘I should’ for ‘I would like to’ – shame doesn’t drive change, intention does.
  6. Stop saying you haven’t got the time. It’s amazing how much time you save when you stop doing things that are a total waste of time!
  7.  You know that voice in your head that tells you you’re not enough? Next time she pipes up, repeat what she says out loud in the voice of Peppa Pig in front of the mirror. Now try taking her seriously!
  8.  Take a trip to Selfish Island: Population – 1! Even if it’s just sitting down for two minutes reminding yourself of how far you have come, how much you have achieved and how loved you are. Even better, make time for yoga, go dancing, or stick your Hamilton album on and sing along with The Schuyler Sisters!
  9.  Girl, will you just stop waiting for permission? Your ticket has been bought and paid for already. Get on the ride!
  10.  Make out with your husband more. He’s proper hot!

 Kind Regards

Your older and wiser self 

What advice would your 90 year old self give to you?


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