I was reminded again today of just how important this is. A nurse who worked with patients in the final months of their lives recorded the five most common regrets of dying patients. If you haven’t read it, I’d strongly encourage you to read it – you can find it here . The top five regrets she saw were:
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 hadn’t worked 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.
It certainly makes me stop and think!
Like many professionals and small business owners, the regret of “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard” strikes a chord. I guess I’m lucky in that I love what I am doing. I genuinely feel like I am improving people’s lives and not always just in a financial sense. I certainly feel part of a new movement that is changing the face of advice and I’m really excited by that.
It reminds me of this quote from Steve Jobs “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about,you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Having said that I’m also mindful of making sure work isn’t at the expense of spending time with the most important people in my life. In no time at all my 6 and 8 year old daughters who think Dad is fun and great to spend time with, will be teenagers and then on their way. I won’t get this time back.
It takes some deeper thinking to look at each aspect of your life and ask – what is important to you? But it is so worthwhile.
But they don’t always have to be deep and meaningful – one of my favourites from a client is “life’s too short to drink crap wine”.