Bronnie Ware worked as a caretaker of the dying. Someone who gets hired to tend for people during their final months or weeks in life.
Through her work she was able to identify the most common and deepest regrets people had during those final days— what they wished they had done differently, what they wished they had the courage to be, and to say.
The list of common regrets probably won’t surprise you. But hearing the stories about the lives of the people who carry these regrets make them connect on a very deep level—deep enough for them to really sink in.
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
🔸 I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
The most common regret of them all.
🔹 I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.“
🔸 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.“
🔹 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
When you are dying you realize the full value of real friends, and by then you might have lost contact with them.
🔸 I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Many doesn’t realize that happiness is a choice until their dying days.
Reading through this list, I realize that reading books can protect us from many of these regrets. To live a life true to myself, express my feeling and choose my attitude is something I’ve learned about through books, and which I have been put into practice (still Work in Progress) .
I can’t put a price on those insights!
This book is not just a list of dying people’s regrets and life stories, but also a the story of Bronnie’s own journey, and how working with dying people and learning from their regrets gave her courage to fight her own demons and a build a life true to herself.
It’s a powerful read that will snap you out of the matrix for a moment and have you check your priorities. It might even trigger some real change.