Have you ever wondered what most people regret when the end of life is drawing near? A little morbid, but how better to live your life than by taking meaningful advice from others? Below are people’s top nine regrets as relayed by a hospice nurse who was privileged enough to hear these wise words firsthand.
1. I wish I’d been more loving to the people who mattered most in my life
Don’t regret not having said “I love you” as much as you would have liked. Hug your loved ones, keep them close, be patient and understanding with them, and above all, remind them how much you care.
2. I wish I had been a better parent/ child/ spouse
Taking family for granted ranked high on people’s list of regrets. Instead of making empty promises, follow through with plans and remember that these are the people that care about you the most, generally speaking. Be there for them and you’ll never regret missing out.
3. I wish I had worked less
Many spoke of the time they spent trying to get ahead in their career, and how they had worked long hours for little payoff. They lost out on time with loved ones and could not reconcile this with themselves.
4. I wish I had taken more risks
Life is for the living—many felt that their fear of failure led to them not taking enough risks. You never know what wonderful things can come of the path less traveled if you never choose to take it.
5. I wish I’d allowed myself to enjoy life more
Worry and self-doubt were two painful contributors to many patients’ wishes of having let go of the things they couldn’t control. Take a deep breath and appreciate the present moment instead of stressing about what’s to come.
6. I wish I’d pursued my life’s dream
Some people explained that they gave up on their lifelong ambition to pursue a career that was more viable, or a path that made more sense on paper.
7. I wish I had taken better care of myself
Because many of the patients were terminally ill, there was a consensus among them that if they had eaten better, exercised more and generally taken better care of themselves, they may not have gotten sick.
8. I wish I’d done more for others
Wanting to make a difference in the world—to make it a better place—doesn’t seem to be a wish that ever leaves a person. The patients said they would have liked to spend more time and energy giving to others, volunteering, or donating to charity than they did earlier in life.
9. I wish I had pursued a career that was more meaningful to me
Too many people stuck with a job they didn’t like, or even hated, just to pay the bills. Practicality is always a factor, but when it comes at the expense of your passion, it may be worth it to rethink your situation.