A study by Bronnie Ware

The #1 Regret of the Dying

Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash

Have you ever heard the #1 regret of the dying?

For many years, Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, took care of people during their final three to twelve weeks to live.  During this time, by far the most common regret she heard was that people wished they had had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others had expected of them.

Think about that.  The #1 regret of people in their final days was that they didn’t live a life true to themselves.

It’s very sad, really.  We go through our entire lives, and for what?  For what are we living?  Just to work so we can pay the bills?  Just to survive?

Are we waking up everyday and just going through the motions?  Is life mundane?  Boring?  Are we slaves to our expenses?  Are we trapped in a cycle of get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, and repeat? 

Where’s life?  Is this what we were intended for?

Steve Jobs is noted for saying “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”—James 4:14

God created each and every one of us with unique gifts, talents, skills, and abilities.  He is not a cookie-cutter Creator.  We’re all different.  We shouldn’t try to live like anyone else, nor should we compare ourselves to anyone else.  We’re all on our own journey.  We all have value.  We’re all important and have key roles.

Consider these verses about the parts of the body:      

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?  If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.  And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.  But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.—1 Corinthians 12:15-26

What Paul is talking about here is we all have our own unique design and purpose.  Just like all the different parts of the body have their own unique design and purpose, it takes all of them put together to make up the body.  They all have their own value.  They all have their own purpose.  They’re all important. 

It’s the same with us.  We’re all created differently with a unique design and purpose.  Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.  We may lack in one area, but excel in another.  If you judged an eye on how well it could smell, it would be a failure.  The eye was not designed to smell.  This is not its intended purpose.  But the eye is AMAZING at seeing. 

We have to figure out OUR intended purpose. 

What has God created you to do?

What unique gifts, talents, and abilities do you have?

What are you drawn to deep down?

These are things we need to spend time thinking about.  Praying about.  God is our Creator and our unique design and purpose comes from Him. 

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”—Oscar Wilde

Please feel free to comment below.

Ever feel like there has to be something more to life?

If so, join me.  Let’s find it together.

Yes! I want to find true life too.

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***Bronnie has 4 more top regrets of the dying.  Check out her full post to see the rest.

If you haven’t already, check out My Story.