What you don’t want to regret before you die

 

As a conscious leader you are someone who has at least become aware of the attachments in your life, many of which create stress, worry, tension and fear. I notice that the more attached I am to an idea, the more scary it is to lose it, the less free I am to navigate the way I want to, more enslaved I feel to the attachment rather than to who I really am. How can I be who I am if I have to continuously change my behavior in a way I don’t feel scared?

To live more freely the way you want to, you got to take a leap of faith and face the fear of death. You will enjoy life more than ever before! Most of us feel scared of dying. Fair enough - we are so attached to living in this body, in this crazy beautiful thrilling experience full of surprises and side turns and shortcuts, that anything other than that feels hard to imagine.

But we all die, whether you feel comfortable imagining that or not. It is simply a matter of fact that death is a consequence of life. The more conscious I have become about death and the dissolving of my identity, the more I have allowed myself to feel how short life is and how quick and unapologetic death can be, the more I have begun to embrace an the preciousness of life. The more important it has become to live it with presence and with meaning.

 

For most of us, in particular if we have grown up in the West, our understanding of “ourselves” and our “identity” can misguide us to think that life is centered all around “I”. It is so easy to get caught up in the tasks that we think we need to do, because they feed, change and nurture the idea of “me”. It is easier and definitely more comfortable to do that than to be conscious all the time. But what are the consequences of this lifestyle? It leads to regrets, despair deep dissatisfaction about life.

 

Here are the top 5 regrets that people have shared with Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse, shortly before they died:

 

1. I WISH I'D HAD THE COURAGE TO LIVE A LIFE TRUE TO MYSELF, NOT THE LIFE OTHERS EXPECTED OF ME.

 

If you are finding yourself living not the life you want or frequently doubting yourself, don’t stay in it because you are afraid to change. At least get curious about the origin of your attachments and fears. It is easy to forget dreams and even easier just to dream them without taking any action, ever. But I believe that it’s “better to have tried and miserably failed than not tried at all.” Most of us don’t live that way. How many dreams are you not trying out? The dyeing had not honored even a half of their dreams because of choices they had made, or not made. And they had forgotten how blessed they had been with the freedom of a healthy body, until they no longer had it.

 

2. I WISH I HADN'T WORKED SO HARD.

 

If you find yourself frequently disconnecting from others because of work and it’s been going on like this since a while, close your computer right now and meet someone you love. Don’t wish you had invested more time to experience life, experience it! Remember that you have a life outside of your work and that your work never gets done. You can only maintain peak performance if you rest. The athletes who have learnt how to rest well between times of high intensity are those who win. Get curious about your attachments around work. Do you believe you need to work hard to make a living? Read my previous blog. Do you feel like nobody without work? Does it give you gratification?

 

3. I WISH I'D HAD THE COURAGE TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS.

 

Your feelings always matter and they never let you down. Before I knew how to ‘feel’ and be real with my feelings instantly, I thought of them as this scary dark place that was uncontrollable. I didn’t know what would happen if I’d allowed myself to feel angry and felt unsafe if I was vulnerable. I first needed to learn how to trust myself and how to feel save first. And then I realized how good it felt to FEEL. Feelings are healthy. They are the compass towards your triggers and your truth. When you feel calm and peaceful, you are in your truth. Don’t make the choice to settle for a mediocre existence and hiding from who you are truly capable of becoming. Many of the dying who had this regret, had developed illnesses related to the bitterness and resentment which they had carried because they never expressed what was on their heart.

 

4. I WISH I HAD STAYED IN TOUCH WITH MY FRIENDS.

 

Friends are like a second family, your family of choice. The longer you have been connected, and the more you have invested into one another, the more home you feel. Old friendships feel so good because we have been seen and met in our own growth and journey; we have been truly known by someone and truly loved. Old friends know how to make each other laugh, and how to remind each other of old fears or how far we have come. How many people of the thousands of people you meet throughout your life are important enough to invest your time in? What is a second family worth to you? The dying had many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. Remember that next time you forget a friends birthday.

 

5. I WISH THAT I HAD LET MYSELF BE HAPPIER.

 

Most people do not realize that happiness is a choice and does not depend on outside circumstances. I repeat, happiness does not depend on anything outside of yourself. You can choose to dismiss thoughts that are not leading you to happiness. The happiness equation says: happiness equals events minus expectations, which means that happiness is the reality that is left once all expectations are gone. This points again in the direction that happiness does not come from outside sources, but rather from your choice of what thoughts to believe in and what expectations to detach from. An expectation is a thought pattern or a belief attached to our idea of ourselves, of knowledge, of our emotions, of time and culture, or any outcomes that we would like to see.

 

This brings us straight back to the top, where I wrote about the idea of detaching from the fear of death. To fully delve into the idea and then the acceptance that one day everyone of us will have died, to expect others around us to die, will help us to suffer less - will help us to remember that the best way to live is to deeply feel and to be human before we become something else.  

 

All we have in this life is the preciousness of every moment. Don’t waste it with suffering. Make it worthwhile, make these moments meaningful and deeply feel yourself as human through a proper laugh, through complete childlike silliness, through uneventful gradual happiness, through total ecstasy and whole-hearted connection.  

Trust it. Be it. Do it.