They are the great common denominator–no matter race, color, creed–they’re the one thing we universally try to avoid with the time we’re given.
The pursuit of such avoidance is often on our mind and always on the clock.
Former palliative nurse and author of The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware, has seen that clock run out all too often.
Working closely with patients who were in their waning days of life, Ware was gifted with insight beyond her imagination. The palliative nurse developed relationships with countless dying patients, hearing their regrets and unavoidably being drawn to clear themes that emerged.
The number one regret of the dying?
“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Indeed, poet Oliver Wendell Holmes lamented that “many people die with their music still in them”. Ensure your unique, wonderful symphonies are fully realized by living a courageous and self-congruent life in these three ways.
Values are those little things we do each day that exemplify who we are. They are the daily little impressions we make that leave a huge permanent impression. You have a choice to live each day in support of your values, or in spite of your values.
Research indicates that if I asked you to write down your values, 85 percent of you could rattle off the top one or two quickly. But the real question is, do you consistently live by these values and let them guide you? Do you hold your values sacred?
Living by your values turns guesses into good decisions. When we go astray from our values, regrets pile up.
Authentic behavior binds human beings to one another. It is deeply satisfying for those conducting and receiving; it helps reinforce self-identities and creates bridges to a sense of belonging.
In fact, as human beings, one of the most essential ways we search for meaning is by answering such fundamental questions as “Who Am I?” and “Where Do I Belong?” Along the way we continually compare and contrast our present situation to our beliefs about who we are/where we belong, looking for matches and misalignment.
It’s when we ignore misalignment that regrets begin to surface.
Here’s an Authenticity Code of Conduct to help you stay on course with your true self:
Purpose is the Profound Why. Why are we working so hard? For what higher-order reason? Purpose creates a sense of personal mission to do something worthy.
The road to regret is paved with lack of purpose.
Above all else, purpose is personal. The pursuit of our individual purpose yields tremendous meaning. Meaning starts with “Me” for a reason.
If you’re still searching for a sense of purpose, you’re not alone. Try the Purpose Power Questions that follow to help unveil what your purpose might be. Keep at the forefront the context of serving something greater than yourself:
So what say we live with self-congruency and leave the top regret of the dying where it belongs–on the great To Don’t list of life.