It’s that time when people start reflecting on endings and fresh beginnings. We see “best of 2011” lists with the top news stories, or the bestselling blockbusters, etc., and find our own opportunities to reflect on the events that took place over the past year in our personal lives. We think about the things we’re grateful for and the things we wish we’d done better; the dreams we’ve yet to chase; the hard times that have shaped us and our resolutions for change.
Although the new year brings with it a healthy amount of reflection, one might argue the time of heaviest, most meaningful, reflection occurs when we are faced with death, particularly that of our own.
Bronnie Ware, medical professional and author of, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, spent many years with patients at the end of their lives. In that time she found that many of her patients expressed similar kinds of regrets for their lives. According to Ware, the most common sentiments include:
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 didn’t work so hard.
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 sure some of us can already relate to one or more of these feelings. Why not take advantage of the refreshing, inspired energy that comes with a new year to evaluate the big picture of our lives how we hope to spend the time we’re given. Lets make resolutions big and small and commit ourselves to doing all we can to ensure we don’t find ourselves identifying with the aforementioned regrets when our time comes.
May 2012 bring each of you the happiness you deserve and the strength to live the life you’ve always wanted.