I recently did a radio show (LIFE COACH CHAT) on Bronnie Ware’s blog post, “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”. Bronnie wrote about her experience as a palliative caretaker, she took care of those who went home to die. She valiantly spent the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives with them. During those weeks she witnessed her patient’s experience denial, fear, anger, remorse, and more denial and eventually acceptance.
There is where she began to question her patient’s about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are her most common five:
As I read through the top 5 regrets, all I could think about is how can those who still have a chance to shift their lives use these pearls of wisdom to their advantage? So, I decided to shift the conversation to a proactive approach; one that can help others live a life with less regret. So, I decided to turn Bronnie’s Five Regrets of the Dying into Five Principles of the Living. Here are the five principles and how to overcome your potential energy blocks:
1. You can choose courage or comfort but you can’t have both.
“Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway” – Robert Anthony
Courage starts with self-approval. If you approve of yourself then you tend to become relaxed and gain inner freedom to do more of what you love. However, if you lack self-acceptance then you lead of life fueled by inner resistance. We are all artists in our own way; we have a purposeful offering we are destined to share with the world. Ask yourself what is really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.
Energy Block: Be aware of resistance, it transforms into fear, self-doubt, and procrastination. Resistance is what’s keeping you small.
2. Laugh like you’re ten, dance like you’re twenty.
“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”
There’s always a time and a place for seriousness but having too of a serious mindset isn’t that great all the time. It can create negative feelings; which in turn can create negative situations. Play, it’s not just for kids, as adults we exchange play for work and responsibilities. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we connect with others by sharing joy, laughter, and fun. We develop empathy, compassion, and trust. It’s also the antidote to loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression.
Energy Block: Assumptions can create unrealistic expectations of who we are or should be.
3. Freedom is the door and vulnerability is the key.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change”. – Brené Brown
Vulnerability is where your authenticity resides. Make peace with all of your human emotions, yes, including the ones you’re most like to suppress, anger, rage, disappointment, and grief. You cannot numb what you don’t want to feel and not numb what makes us wholehearted. Vulnerability is a skill; it takes time to develop it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get.
Energy Block: Let go of the negative limiting beliefs about yourself, life, and the world that are limiting you.
4. Build your Tribe.
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” Dorothy Day
There is nothing more important than building a community that is supportive and loyal. None of us can do anything alone; we must embrace help and do it fearlessly. Don’t be afraid of creating ‘tribes’ that support you in your life’s mission. Find those individuals who have commonalities and are already reaping their fruits of their labor. Those are individuals who will guide, support, and encourage you to grow in the direction you aspire to.
Energy Block: Eliminate the interpretations that you’ve made up about events, situations, and people.
5. Your goal is happiness your strategy is contentment.
“Contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment”. Anonymous
Today, the media bombards us, selling us on being “Happy”. Let’s be clear, happiness is an emotion that comes and goes. On the other hand, contentment is sustainable from day-to-day and moment-to-moment. It is an inner-feeling of satisfaction that isn’t dependent on external factors.
Energy Block: Let go of your inner-critic, the voice that tells you, in one way or another, that you’re not good enough.
The average person has a “time bank” of 28,000 days in a lifetime. If you’re 25, you have about 18,000 days to live. If you’re 50, you have about 9,000 days left to live. If you’re 65, you have about 3,000 days left to live. This is your journey, how do you plan to live the rest of your days?
Veronica is a certified leadership coach (CPC), a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index (ELI-MP), radio show host and writer from San Francisco who works passionately and wholeheartedly with women in their 20s and 30s who are in search of greater meaning and fulfillment in their lives. For more information, please visit Veronica’s official website at www.lifeleaderscoaching.com.