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The Top 5 Regrets In Life By Those About to Die

Joel Brown (Founder of



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:


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 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.



  1. I just couldn’t depart your site before suggesting that I really loved the standard information an individual provide in your guest posts

  2. Tim Denning

    Jan 19, 2016 at 9:36 am

    One of the best article’s I have read on Addicted2Success and no wonder it has so many amazing comments. Thanks Joel!

  3. Subhan Ahmed

    Dec 8, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Goldmine article, the only problem I personally feel that to start off your new life you have to let go from your old life or older version of you, which is much harder because we fear loose all we have if we do so.

    Thanks for writing this article,

  4. Ken Chan

    Jul 8, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Good article:
    When people are about to die, many then realise and become enlightened to what his life was all about. If only we take this enlightened step 30-40 years earlier then we and the rest of the world would be a better place. We as an entity, are similar to a child’s soap bubble floating and everything we feel, do, dream, how we live our life etc..etc..are within that bubble called the self. Therefore one ought to live well, fill it with happiness, kindness and compassion, sharing good things. When that bubble burst, we are no more, in fact, there will be no ‘we or I’ at all, and consciousness as we know it does not exist any more for the ‘I’, only a carcass, looked upon by those still living.

  5. James@youdolife

    Sep 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Love this article!!!!

  6. Nancy

    Apr 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Thought provoking indeed! It is the IRONY!

  7. Lyndon

    Apr 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    If like to write this quote from marine Johnson although this has been slightly altered . “Our deepest fear is not that we ate inadequate.our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking; that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are meant to shine as children do. Its not just in some of us; it is everyone, and as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”

  8. Steve

    Feb 18, 2013 at 12:02 am

    None of it makes any difference.
    Life is meaningless.
    Whether you lived a good life or not, you still ended up blowing in the wind.

    • Eric Weinberg

      Nov 14, 2013 at 6:17 am

      Wow….you sound like an amazing person. Can we please hang out?


      Dec 31, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Who cares if it’s meaningless (and what does that really mean, anyways)? It’s all you’ve got. Want to enjoy it happily or unhappily? Simple concept.

  9. YourInnerSelfGrowth

    Jan 12, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Amazing post. I have seen this re-posted many times, glad to find the original post, where it all came from.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

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