We are often in such a rush in our ordinary lives that we seldom take the time to just pause, take a step back and reflect upon the path our life is taking. Time seems to fly away and before we know it it’s over. When you are laying on your deathbed looking back at your life, what do you think you will regret most?
I recently read an article about a study where a nurse asked people who knew that they were soon going to die what they regretted most in their lives.
The biggest regret of dying people was to not have had the courage to live a life true to themselves, but to have lived a life others expected of them.
"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise 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 had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."
I think this is very sad and obviously very common. Perhaps you had some great dreams and plans for your life when you were younger. Then life caught up with you and you started to work or study, eventually ending up in a situation where you work 40+ hours each week doing something you think is okay but not really passionate about. You earn a good enough salary, having people relying on you at home and are longing for the weekends and the few weeks of vacation each year where you finally can spend some time on the things you truly love. Life goes by and finally you end up there in the hospital bed, looking back at your life and all the decisions you took and didn’t take.
I think that one of the biggest reason to why so few actually take the step to break free from a life they aren't fully enjoying and act towards fulfilling their dreams is fear. Fear of what other people will think about them, fear of not knowing how to do it and fear of leaving the security there is in their current lives.
Say that you for example have spent a lot of years and money studying for what you think is your dream job. Then after working a few years you realize that it wasn’t what you thought it would be like and that you aren’t happy. When telling people that you consider trying something new and change your career many will probably question you and saying that you have just wasted your time.
I would however say that you totally should go for it. If you are not happy and passionate about the things you do each day, what’s the point of staying there? When you are old looking back at your life, what do you think you would consider being the biggest waste? Staying at a job or in a lifestyle you are not happy with for the fear of what anyone else would think, or for realizing this and taking action towards improving your life and wellbeing?
It’s very difficult to know how everything will turn out beforehand. In many cases it’s not until you are actually in it that you can say if this is what you really wanted or not. Realizing this and reflecting now and then on whether the path you are currently on is the best way for you or not is the key to not end up like the people in the article, as well as the will and determination to take action upon it.
I realized for myself that spending most of my awaken time at an office, working for someone else with something I’m not passionate about any longer and not having enough time to do the things I love most or spend with the people closest to me wasn't at all what I wanted the rest of my life to look like.
So I took action and started to search for alternatives that could create more freedom and flexibility in my life, where I could decide for myself what to spend my time on and not. After a while I met some amazing mentors and a fantastic community with similar minded people. They taught me how to start my own online business, even though I had no previous experience or any product or service to sell. What I think is the absolutely best thing about this is that as long as you have a laptop and an Internet connection you can work from anywhere in the world. It’s also totally up to you when and how much you want to work each day, freeing a lot of time to spend on your true passions!
Try to follow your true dreams in life so that you don't end up like the people in the article, regretting that you just lived the life others expected you to do and didn't had the courage to follow your heart.
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