The Top 5 Regrets In Life By Those About to Die

By on November 30, 2011
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regrets in life

To all my readers out there, sorry to bring down the mood on this one, but I believe this post you are about to read will be a life changing article in the way that you see your life and how you are living it at the moment. This article is written by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care worker who has worked with a countless number of patients who are sadly seeing their last days on earth. When Bronnie had questioned the patients about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:


The Top 5 Regrets In Life By Those About To Die

1. 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 realize 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 have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way.

From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.


2. I wish I didn’t work 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.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.


3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings – Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.


4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends – Often they would not truly realize 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.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.


5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one.

Many did not realize 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 had 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.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


By Bronnie Ware – Purchase Bronnie Wares full – length book:


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About The Author: Joel Brown

Joel Brown is the CEO and Founder of With a long time passion for Entrepreneurship, Self development & Success, Joel started his website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people all over the world to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. Joel’s passion for what he does shows through the continual growth of's online community. Follow Joel Brown on Twitter or keep upto date with him on Facebook:


  1. Jean Luhrs

    December 21, 2011 at 2:14 am

    I agree with all five comments as I did ten years ago. So I decided to do something about them. I made effort to reconnect with old friends, and traveled as much as I could before my illnesses made that impossible. When I could no long drive I took a writing class, joined the Senior Center and insisted our family continue the “family dinners” – any they loved it. I’m happy in my Faith, love my care-giver, and my dog Harry.

  2. Drusilla Watts-Hurt

    December 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    What a way to start a new year and a new you!

  3. wendy

    December 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

    if only life was played out in reverse. We would be born with the wisdom that we build up throughout our life.

  4. bob paaso

    December 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    as ray lewis said about effort, hapiness is between you and you. and the happiest people I know live their life their way. not the way others try to dictate… making strides in boston

  5. Christine Olsen

    January 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

    If we stay busy persuing these worthy goals we will be so caught up in the adventure of a full life that the pangs and pains of ageing will not be able to have dominion over us..keep the Faith as you keep on keeping on, in Christ’s Spirit, Chris

  6. shaquana

    January 8, 2012 at 10:48 am


  7. David omukuba eshihuula

    January 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    It is fine not to be addicted to any of life’s physicals be it happiness, friendships,aloofness or any other. Striking balance helps just also to be balanced and less apologetic moments before you breath your last.That is how I live.

  8. Spencer J Yamuah

    January 19, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Depending on God alone always will carry you into your life fulfilment.

  9. bhupinder

    January 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    observe and enjoy the process of change ie evolution

  10. Ben Winters

    January 23, 2012 at 6:38 am

    This is awesome really. Good Job! I think to myself each day how can I better myself and become a more interesting person and do what is right, but I guess I never thought if I was living a truly authentic life! Good Stuff

    Ben Winters: CEO

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