The stress we experience on a daily basis is phenomenal. Sometimes we internalise the stress so much that it becomes part of our normal life, well until we just drop dead from heart attack and things like that. I was reminded about stress by a colleague who was depressed today because a close friend of hers just dropped dead from heart attack. Knowing that I am equally harbouring stress like you I started thinking hard. On one hand I thought about the fact that I need to minimise the stress and on the other hand I thought about the things that I will regret the most should I die unexpectedly. Instead of thinking alone I decided to write this blog article so that I can get you thinking too. Stress kills and we need to take care of ourselves.
Well, I think we all know what we need to do to minimise stress but it is just difficult to implement those things. The main problem is our preoccupation with material possessions. For example, most professional are stressed with work by unresonable timelines, uncaring bosses, little salary, no recognition for hard work, no passion and fullfillment, no career growth etc., but we can’t just quit and take it easy. At the end of the day we all need to feed the monsters we created in terms of huge bonds and debts. We are basically trapped. I guess we have to keep the hope and believe that one day a solution will prevail. So, just like you I know what I need to do but it is impossible. So, I have to put up with stress and sometimes resort to amloc to minimize the high blood pressure. I just don’t know how far the medications will take me.
The second thing I found myself contemplating about was about the regrets which I will have should I drop dead unprepared. After making a list I decided to goggle the topic and I was shocked that my list is similar to many people who were documented by Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She put her observations in a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying and also summarised them in a blog.
Here are the Top Five Regrets of Dying as documented by Bronnie Ware, and similar to my own list and probably yours too
I wish I'd 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. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
I wish I hadn't worked 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.”
I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
“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.”
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.”
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 ad 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.”
What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?
To your success…
Original source: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying
Dr Joe Molete is the Executive Director of the VUT Science and Technology Park based in Sebokeng. He is also the founder of Dr Joe High Performance Academy, a platform that accelerates professional to positions of leadership, scientific excellence and wealth. This platform supports people to become high performing individuals who drive sustainable organisations. You can contact Dr Joe on Twitter @drjoemolete, Facebook/drjoehpa or email email@example.com.