Oct 1, 2012

The Monday Pep talk - what would you do differently?

Maybe you have already seen this list. Maybe you haven´t. Either way it´s an important list. I can read it again and again to remind myself what´s important in life and how to navigate towards that. A list to remember now. Today. When we still have the time to change those little things that aren´t working in our lives. Those who steal energy or just don´t give any meaning. This list is based on a study by a pallative nurse named Bronnie Ware, whos' job was to care for people in their last stage of life. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again." In the beginning those stories came down on her blog inspirationandchai.com but soon got so much attention it became a book. "My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives" says Bronnie Ware. "I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal."
Ok, back to the Monday Pep Talk. How can these sad stories be pep talks? Well, we can be grateful for having the time to actually change parts of our lives and that we´re reminded to live a fulfilled life. I think they all are equally important and easy to relate to, but number 1 and 5 are extra important, I think. I also think that I would add not taking things too seriously and never stop having fun or being a fun person, to my personal list. What do you think? Which ones of these ticks your list?
1 I wish I would had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn´t work so hard

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.


3. I wish I´d had the courage to express my feeling

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. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. Its all comes down to love and relationships in the end.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

"Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."

                           So, let´s get out

and be HAPPIER
this Monday!

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