This sounds morbid, but I think a great way to check how your life is going is to imagine yourself at the end of it looking backward to the point you are now…Are you heading in the right direction? And are you going to achieve all the things you wanted to?…Let’s face it there’s nothing you can do about changing anything from now to birth, but you can do a lot to change your life from your current position to death.
Someone called Bronnie Ware who was also a songwriter, spent eight years as a live-in carer for terminally ill patients. She wrote about the five recurring themes that haunted many of the people she cared for. She called it: The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so much.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I’m interested to know where you are with this…Here’s my own assessment:
1. I made a huge life change 10 years ago, threw in my career and started to chase my dreams…I think I’m winning at this one but equally it’s come with far reaching consequences, good and bad. It’s a bit like ignoring life’s Sat Nav. You deviate from the route that’s laid out for you and suddenly the journey becomes more difficult and unpredictable, but you see more things and get more interested in the journey itself not the destination.
2. This is a worry – I’m probably working harder now than in any point in my life but earning not much more than when I started work 30 years ago. Technically I’m now working 7 days a week too and have been for the last 2 years or so, but 3 of those days now sort of feel like fun rather than work…Does that count?…I hope so…One day I hope it’s all 7 then I’ll never have to work again…
3. I’m getting good at this one. But as with 1) it comes with consequences and I’m not that convinced of the benefits either…Some would say I’m crap at hiding my feelings which is just a negative view of the same thing.
4. Failed on that one and ironically still struggle to understand why people who I once enjoyed being friends with are no longer in my life. I guess they were as bad at No. 4 as me.. 😀
5. I love the aspect of permission in this. It’s totally true, we ‘allow’ ourselves to be happy and I’m crap at that…I said to someone recently that I could compete for Great Britain in the ‘Beating yourself up’ championships.
So there you have it, plenty to work on there. How did you fare?