People say it all the time; “You only live once.” Yet it’s still so easy to forget that on a daily basis. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we forget to make each day count. Time goes by so fast that we seldom stop to really think about life and whether we’re living it in a way that will allow us to look back on it with no regrets when all is said and done.
I came across this story about a nurse who has worked with countless patients during their dying moments. Through her observations, she put together a list of the top 5 regrets that people have when they die. I’d like to reflect on each regret individually, starting with the first one:
Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect
What Have You Done?
Take some time to think about your past. Without being too critical, can you say that you’ve lived your life in a way that is true to yourself? Make note, there’s a difference between living selfishly, and living your own life. I’m not saying you should just stop caring about those around you, but rather live in a way that makes you happy. Reach for your goals, not the goals of someone else. Although you can’t take back or change the way you’ve lived your life thus far, you can use your past to motivate you to change.
What Are You Doing?
Maybe you’ve already realized the importance of living life for yourself, and you’re putting that principal to work. That’s wonderful! If you’re not living a life true to yourself, most likely you already know this. You know because it weighs on you. You feel the conflict between whatever or whoever is holding you back, and the life you know you’re meant to live. Maybe not every day, but the thought creeps up on you and it’s painful to think about. That’s how you know your not living life true to yourself. So…
What Will You Do?
Living a life true to yourself is going to look different for everyone. For some, it could be something drastic, like a career change, faith change, or relocation. For others, it might be simply making small changes to your daily living, like learning to tell people “no” when you have to. Find out what it is you have to do in order to start living true to yourself and work towards putting that into action. It’s not going to be easy and like any change, it will take time. Be diligent about chipping away at the change, and patient in reaching your goal.
No matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to start living a life that is true to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16, 36, or 76, start being true to yourself now so that you don’t have regrets later.
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