by She Flies With Her Own Wings
I recently came across an article 5 Biggest Regrets in Life that were the top regrets of the dying, and found myself thinking that they were ‘lessons’ I could easily apply to my own life –
1) “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
This is one I’ve periodically found myself thinking at different points in my life. I specifically remember when many of my teachers were telling me what I should study in college because they ‘just saw’ me doing this and that with my life. It became a really confusing time in my life because I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but found myself worrying that I was going to let everyone down.
This is such a crucial piece of advice this day in age – so many people feel like they have to live to the expectations that others and society set for them; getting a college degree, becoming something successful such as a doctor or lawyer etc. starting a family at a certain point in life. Everyone is different, and we each have to follow our own path and dance to the beat of our own drum.
2) “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”
I need to tell myself this one more often. Especially as a college student. I’ve had a job for the most part of my college career, and many times have found myself missing out on friends birthday dinners, sorority functions, or just random trips with friends. Why am I in such a rush to grow up? I have the rest of my life to have a job/career. These are days that I’m never going to get back. I find myself so many times wanting to quit my job, but wanting money to be able to do stuff – it’s kind of a tough position, but I think this puts some of it into perspective.
3) “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
I’m slowly learning this. I used to just keep everything inside to keep everyone else happy. But I’ve learned I can’t sacrifice my own happiness for others, and that others actually want to see me happy too. I’m learning to let people know when I’m upset, sad, or angry, and also when I’m really happy; communicating with them what I want and need. We’re human, and we have lots of emotions which we shouldn’t be afraid to express.
There are many times I wish I would have told someone how I really felt – expressing my true feelings by showing/telling them how much I really care, or at times that I’m really just not happy with a situation. It’s almost as if society trains us to be cold and emotionless; I think if we weren’t so afraid to express our emotions, we’d all be a lot happier, and the world would be a better place.
4) “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
People are always moving and leaving. It’s hard to keep in touch with people, we all need to try a little harder. We have more technology and more ways to keep in touch now more than ever, but unfortunately I think we’re more disconnected now as well. I will say though that one of the best things is having such good friends, that you can go forever without talking to them, and then you pick up the phone and it’s as if nothing has changed…maybe we should pick up the phone more often though.
5) “I wish I had let myself be happier.”
How true is this?! I think sometimes we get so caught up in this materialistic world that we’re constantly focused on wanting the newer and better things. We’re striving for the next stage of life instead of enjoying the one we’re in. There are so many people out in the world who have far less and yet are much happier.
Appreciate what you have, when you have it, and value the little things in life. Don’t forget to notice the beauty that is around you. We need be more thankful for the things we do have, and not so unhappy about the things we don’t. The good more often than not outweighs the bad, focus on the positive – be happy for the life you live.
I hope that many years from now, I can look back on my life and not have to regret these things. I think the saying ‘you don’t regret things you’ve done, you regret the things you didn’t do’ is so true. Take every opportunity life presents you with, live a full life.