Not surprisingly, most people start to ponder and analyze their life as they approach death. People start to think about regrets and what they would change if they had the opportunity. Of course people’s regrets are as individual as they are; however, it appears that there are some common themes surrounding the concept of regrets. Those themes are explored in the book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” that was written by a palliative nurse from Australia.
The author of the book was a nurse who spent several years caring for patients who were in the last few weeks of their lives. Over the years she began to realize there were some common themes she was hearing from her patients. Interestingly, both the number one and the number five most common regrets that the nurse heard from her patients involved our own happiness. It appears that many of us reach death feeling as though we ourselves prevented our own happiness. For many, happiness eluded them because they lived a life of obligation and commitment instead of one based on their own dreams and wishes. For others, the fear of change stood in the way of true happiness.
There may be no way to live a life without any regrets; however, reaching the end of your life and realizing that you had prevented your own happiness seems almost cruel as well. Maybe now is the time to ask yourself if you are truly happy?