Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who cared for people at the very end of their lives.
She recorded and wrote about about their top five regrets in life.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
When you ask "What is the meaning of life?", "How you live it" will be your answer.
You provide the definition each and every moment and day.
Get out of your comfort zone. Do not be afraid of change. Make “someday I will...” become “Now, I will…”
You must stop visiting and living your past in order to live now. How can you write the next, exciting chapters of your life if you keep going back to the previous pages?
And do not be afraid to love and show compassion. There really isn’t anything else. Love grows you. Hate consumes you. People are not stepping stones in your career. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Love yourself. This may be a strange concept in a world where we honor self-sacrifice but, truly first and formost, do love yourself. As Kamal Ravikant wrote in his wonderful book, "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It", this is not to be narcissistic. This is in fact, the most important step to care for and love others. As Kamal describes it, you need to put on the oxygen mask first when it drops down on the airplane before you can help others do the same.
Have gratitude for what you have. Otherwise, why would the universe give you more if you aren’t thankful for what you already have? Happiness is a choice. Don't just look at the glass as half full versus half empty. Even better, be thankful for the glass!
It also means to “remember to remember”. That means this very moment. Tonight, look at the faces of those at your dinner table and cherish the mental snapshot and conversation. Stop and smell the proverbial roses. They will not be there forever.
Take the time to build relationships. Put away that smartphone when with others. I have seen a couple in a restaurant, a young male and female both punching away on their touchscreens while sitting across from each other at the same table. Absolutely no verbal communication going on throughout the meal – unless they were texting each other. (I remember dreamily looking into the eyes of my wife when we dated.)
Simon Sinek recently talked about people constantly checking their smartphones before meetings, putting them down only when the meeting starts. The message comes across as, “You are just not that important to me.” Mr. Sinek attributes this to the need for instant gratification. That wait time should be the time to build relationships, to be human, e.g. “I heard that your dad is unwell. How is he?”, "Did little Jimmy get out of prison yet?" This is how you connect, understand each other, and build bonds.
So, no fancy advice or philosophy.
Live. Laugh. Love. Live life with no regrets.
I wish you all happiness and wellness for 2017.
Frank Lio is a Product Manager, Strategist, and Change Agent in the Hi-Tech industry. His growing track record of successes include creating 3 winning software products, leading nationwide seminars, and turning around a failing business unit. He is currently serving a dual role as Product Manager and Business Team Support Manager at Instron ITW.
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