“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
– Top five regrets of the dying.
Naturally, we’ve done a lot of things we regret, and of all the regrets people have when they die, not living a life true to themselves is the number one regret of them all.
Death happens to everyone. They say life has a 100% mortality rate and that’s no joke, it’s true. And the scariest part? Death can happen at any time, that’s the whole idea behind memento mori. You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.
But thankfully, you’re not dead yet! You can still change things to avoid the number one regret of the dying. And what better way to start than now? If you were on your deathbed right now, if you’re really going to die right now, what do you regret?
Try to remember all the things you’ve regretted in life, all the things that you wish would play out differently. Perhaps the friendships you’ve neglected or the opportunities you didn’t seize. List them all down and marvel at them. Now, you can do one of two things.
One, you can do nothing. That’s right, do nothing and let your life continue to play out the same way it has always played out. If you let it continue, I can guarantee you will still face the same regrets when you die.
Or two, you can do something about it. What’s common among all your regrets? What happened and what do you wish you’d do differently? If you regret neglecting your friends, do you wish you’d call and hang out more often? Or do you wish for a different set of friends? If you regret the opportunities you’ve missed, is it because of your timidness? Fear of whatever? A lack of courage? What do you wish to be different?
I think you know where this is going. Now that you know what you wish was different, why not just do that? You’ve identified the gap between your past self and the better self you wish you would become. What’s stopping you from becoming that better self? What’s stopping you from taking the first step and changing yourself for the better so you won’t have those regrets later in life?