There is a great quote that has been working its way around Facebook – “Life doesn’t have a remote, get up and change it yourself.” Things don’t happen unless we make them happen. It is up to us to flip the switch.
So many times in life we sit back expecting things to happen. When they don’t, we get upset at others, our world or ourselves. We didn’t ask for the promotion and it was given to someone else. We didn’t share how we felt about someone, so they moved on. We didn’t define our dream so life passed us by without doing what mattered. We wait. Don’t.
One of the best posts of all time is by Bronnie Ware; it is titled the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. She was involved in palliative care; her patients were those in the final days of their lives. When she questioned them about regrets, she discovered that most identified the same regrets. Here are the five she shares in her blog:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
Take a minute and read through each a second time.
Each time I do, I both lose my breath and get goosebumps. I lose my breath because it reminds me I am not doing so well on these. But, the goosebumps tell me there is hope.
See, the greatest thing about sharing information like this is it sets us up to change IF we flip the switch; if we take action. Otherwise, this wisdom falls on deaf ears and we aren’t any better. We aren’t any wiser. We then live with regret. Again, don’t.
As I read through each, I can write my ideas about how I will not have these regrets in my life – I will take action:
- I WILL be more intentional about living my true self – the one that has my greatest abilities and my greatest opportunity to add to our world, instead of trying to be what others want and hope for me. I see that this is my work to do. I can own that. I can flip the switch.
- I WILL be more intentional about finding time to be out and enjoying our wonderful world – it beauty, its technology and its people – instead of always having one more thing to do at work.
- I WILL be more intentional about saying what I feel – in a kind and loving way – but still not being afraid to see that my feelings are valuable and meaningful – and I am right to have them and express them.
- I WILL be more intentional about getting off the computer and going to spend time with family and friends – talking more – sharing time and food (we Italians always think about food).
- I WILL be more intentional about saying what makes me happy and doing it. I see this is my work to do. I can own that. I can flip the switch.
Things only happen when we get out of “stuck” mode and move forward. Even one small step can be a step forward.
So, look at your life and tell yourself that these regrets in life won’t be yours. This wisdom and direction reminds you not to miss the important parts of your amazing life. These regrets remind us to find the courage to take action – to flip the switch and go and do what matters most to you.