Live Without Regret


Live in such a way that you do not wish you had done things differently at the end of your life.

The Bible is filled with metaphors that teach about the brevity of life.  Life is described as a mist, a fast runner, a breath, and a vapor. To live intentionally and to make the best use of your life, you must never forget that life compared with eternity is extremely brief.  I love how the psalmist says:

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.” Psalm 39:4 (NLT)

“I am here on earth for just a little while.” Psalm 119:19 (TEV)

Bonnie Ware is an Australian hospice nurse. She usually spends the last 12 weeks of someone's life with them. Some time ago she began asking her patients: “Do you have any regrets?” and “Is there anything you would do differently?”

When asked these two question, common themes surfaced again and again:

Regret #1 - I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

In Bonnie’s blog she wrote, “This came from every male patient 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.”

Regret #2 - I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Bonnie said this was the most common regret of all. When people realized their lives were almost over and looked back clearly on them, it was easy to see how many dreams had gone unfulfilled. There were so many things they wished they would have done. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing it was because of choices they had made or not made.

I encourage you to live with intentionality. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. I dare you to dream again.

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