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(Infographic) The Top 10 Regrets In Life By Those About To Die

Joel Brown (Founder of




Last year we shared with you The Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying. We were inspired by Bronnie Ware who originally created the article so we decided to interview a number of patients ourselves in palliative care units and nursing homes who are seeing their last days to share their regrets in life.

Their answers were highly memorable so we have decided to create an Infographic of ‘The Top 10 Regrets In Life By Those About To Die’ for the world to share and learn from, before it’s too late.


(Infographic) The Top 10 Regrets In Life By Those About To Die

The Top 10 Regrets In Life By Those About To Die Infographic


The Top 10 Regrets in Life By Those About to Die


1. “Never pursuing dreams and aspirations”

The number one regret we found that people have on their death beds is that they were never brave enough to pursue their dreams, but settled for what others expected of them. When they look back at their lives, they tend to recall their unreached goals and aspirations. They are often haunted by decisions that resulted in the lives they ended up with.

While you still have a lot of years to live, be sure to make some time for reaching your dreams. Start working toward your goals now; don’t keep putting things off until it’s too late.


2. “I worked too much and never made time for my family”

Excessive dedication to work causes a person to spend less time with their loved ones. Parents can even miss out on the lives of their children, because they spent their best years pursuing careers and making money.

Everybody needs to work to generate income, and money is necessary to sustain our lifestyles. But don’t ever sacrifice your family time just to make more money. It would do you good to determine what is really important. Do away with unnecessary expenses and things that only crowd your life – this will make room for improved relationships and better lifestyle choices.


3. “I should have made more time for my friends”

When health and youth have faded, people realize what are truly valuable – they find that all their income and achievements amount to nothing in the end. What really matters in those last few moments are the people who are dear to them. At that time, they tend to miss their friends.

It’s so easy to get lost in the daily grind that you forget to take care of your relationships. If you don’t intentionally stay in touch, you may lose contact with your friends through the years.


4. “I should have said ‘I Love You’ a lot more”

The importance of love becomes more pronounced towards the end of life. At this time, unreturned of love will also be more painful.

It can be hard to tell someone that you love them, especially if you fear rejection. But not being able to express those feelings will leave an unsettled need in you, and possibly affect all future relationships. If you are afraid of getting hurt, remember that it’s better to make your love known than to spend the rest of your life dwelling on what could have been.


5. “I should have spoken my mind instead of holding back and resenting things”

A lot of people choose not to confront those who offend them, thinking that this would keep things civil. In truth, suppressing anger breeds bitterness, which leads to various diseases. Harboring bitterness also makes you emotionally crippled and prevents you from fulfilling your true potential.

If you want to have healthy relationships, honesty and confrontation are necessary. The common misconception about confrontation is that it creates division. In reality, if it’s done kindly and constructively, confrontation deepens mutual respect and understanding. When you express negative emotions properly, it also allows you to let go of the resentment so you don’t have to carry it for the rest of your life.


6. “I should have been the bigger person and resolved my conflicts”

A lot of times, death beds and funerals are more miserable because of broken relationships that were never restored. Relationships are ruined when misunderstandings are not dealt with immediately; this may result in a lifetime of hostility.

Conflicts are a part of life; you can’t avoid them, but you should never let your anger last for more than a day. Choose to forgive. Right the wrongs that you can, while you can.


7. “I wish I had children”

As people age, they often feel lonely and long for the company of their sons and daughters. Those who never had children often have regrets about having no one to comfort them or inherit their legacy.

With today’s modern thinking, kids may be viewed as inconveniences or hindrances to pursuing your goals. But keep in mind that your children will be the ones to show you love when you are old. They will also be the ones to whom you will entrust everything you’ve worked hard for after you’re gone.


8. “I should have saved more money for my retirement”

Failing to plan for the retirement years leaves people destitute in their old age. When that happens, their last moments on earth can be very difficult and miserable.

While you are young, you might not yet grasp the reality of retirement, but it’s important to make a plan for yourself. Be careful not to spend too much on things you think you need now; think about providing a comfortable life for yourself in the future.


9. “Not having the courage to live truthfully”

Looking back, people would wonder whether things would have been better if they were truly honest about who they really are. They think about the distress they caused themselves and others by pretending to be someone they’re not. You will naturally have concerns about whether people would reject you or accept you if you came clean; you might find it easier to compromise yourself just to be liked or loved. There are some situations when things need to be kept hidden, but honesty is generally admired. If you are reviled for who you really are, then that’s how you can determine the people who really love you. If you don’t yet have the courage to be truthful to others, you can start being truthful to yourself.


10. “Happiness is always a choice, I wish I knew that earlier”

People rarely realize that they can choose to be happy. It’s so easy to play the victim of circumstance and prevent yourself from moving on in your life. You tend to settle for mediocrity because it’s familiar; you pretend to be content because you’re too afraid to explore.

Make a choice to have a happy life. Be unafraid of change, and don’t worry about what others think of you. Learn to relax and appreciate the good things.


Article By

I am the the Founder of and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.



  1. Avatar


    Apr 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    having children adds meaning to life , whats the point of having a lot in terms of material value when yull only leave them behind when yu die . children are your legacy

  2. Avatar

    Hikmat Hanna

    Jan 2, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Having kids isn’t about whether or not they do anything for you. It’s about the the life process of giving love and helping another human being grow and mature into a beautiful person and all the joys and challenges that go with it. Having kids isn’t about what they do for you.

  3. Avatar


    May 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I am a widow and I saw so many regrets in husbands eyes, wished he had been there more and cried when he realised he was not going to see his boys become what he had wished for. Since then I think of death every second. A friend asked me why I love my boys, I felt it was stupid u ”ve got to love yr kids. That’s what u were made for as soon as u made the decision to have children, give all and expect little. Them being happy, kind and basically doing the right thing makes it all worthwhile.

  4. Avatar


    Mar 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Develop Charity, kindness, and giving. These 3 will leave you with a tangible joy few people find. Charity will help you appreciate all people and love them for who they are and not what you think they are. Kindness will return to you 100 fold. Giving will help you forget your own troubles, will bless others, will lift you, and what you give will come back to you 1000 times more. These are simple laws of the universe just like the law of gravity or the law of thermal dynamics. Once a person can live by simple laws of the universe they will die with little regrets!

  5. Avatar


    Oct 10, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Errr 5 I mean lol.

  6. Avatar


    Oct 10, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Agree with 7 except not realistic because confrontation requires the person being confronted to be willing to listen also. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.

  7. Avatar


    Sep 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Number 7 is stupid…Having kids is absolutely no guarantee that they will be there when you need them or that they will love you. There is also the fillers called nieces and nephews too… Im sure that 99% of the time they do love you and they will be there but you should have kids just so that there will be “somene there to take care of me and love me”..that in itself is stupid. Sadly, the way some of these generations are, our generation will die alone anyway because they were raised to be selfish and think of themselves anyway. Seen it happen.

    • Avatar


      Sep 7, 2012 at 5:54 am

      I see where you are coming from and you’re right – it’s never a guarantee. But it’s also not a guarantee those nephew and niece ‘fillers’ will be there either … Also, we were all once kids no? Otherwise we wouldn’t be here talking. this means someone gave us the chance to be a ‘nuisance’ and ‘hindrance’ to them so that one day we can grow up and make something of ourselves – why not return the favour? My 2 cents though …

    • Avatar


      Apr 26, 2013 at 3:31 am

      Thank you so much for posting this! I feel it is very selfish to have children so they can “take care” of me when I’m on my deathbed. It is a personal and financial decision, not too mention having the right partner to create them with. If you are going to have children, raise them to be kind, hardworking, honest and compassionate. As far as inheritance and a legacy that will go to their children…if someone out there doesn’t have anyone to leave their inheritance to…I am available! lol

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