I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
#1 Regret of the Dying
In 2012 Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse wrote a seminal book on life and the question of how best to live it called, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. The number one regret was not living a life true to oneself. Her advice to all of us is to take as many opportunities as possible to choose a life of meaning and purpose before facing our own end of life questions. In her own words, Bronnie shares that the “peace each of these dear people found before their passing is available now, without having to wait until your final hours. You have the choice to change your life, to be courageous, to live a life true to your heart…”
Living without a clear understanding of your life purpose is like being on a ship at sea with a compass whose markings are written in a code that you cannot read. The compass needle is moving and you, as captain, steer by it. You are aware that your compass is giving you directions and you know you are moving. You just do not know what those directions mean or where you will end up.
Like those in Bronnie’s book, it is easy to be so busy that you do not have time to look up and see where the currents of your life are carrying you. Life can feel like one very big, very engulfing ocean and just making sure you stay afloat can seem like the most important priority. However, taking time to explore its depths and discover what would make your journey significant and purposeful is essential for the kind of peace of mind Bronnie is describing.
The best part is that you have all of the answers within you. Diving deep into your inner wise self is where you will find the key to unlock your compass’s directions. This inner world is the source of the knowledge already inscribed onto your compass. You will gain the ability to decode this language and as a result, your motion will have purpose and meaning.
You will connect to the desire and the courage to live a life true to your heart. The intentionality of your choices will nourish you and enable you to sustain yourself as you create a powerful impact in the world. Your compass will be your unfailing ally in leading the life of your choosing as an authentic and powerful expression of who you are here to be.