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The Top of My Todo List and Regrets of the Dying

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Paul Graham has it right.

Those five wishes of the dying are heartbreaking:

1. I wish I had been myself.

2. I wish I had worked less.

3. I wish I had the courage to show my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with friends.

5. I wish I had let myself be happy.

"Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."


Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full length book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. This inspiring book is available internationally through Hay House.

I do like Paul Graham's inversions:

1. Pay attention to your dreams.

2. Don't work too much.

3. Say what you think.

4. Cultivate friendships.

5. Be happy.

When I was in the hospital, the main thing I regretted was none of these... maybe because I've been exceptionally lucky in the areas of following my dreams, loving my work, speaking my mind, friendship, and overall happiness.

My biggest regret was just that I had not ENJOYED my health nearly as much as I should have. It's easy to think of exercise as a chore, sleep as a waste of working hours, healthy eating as a joyless regime... but that's not how you feel when you're lying in a hospital bed waiting for brain surgery, or afterwards when you can't even walk down the hallway without stopping. All I could think was, if I recover from this I am going to ENJOY THE FUCK out of walking, dancing, sleeping, climbing stairs, hiking, lifting weights, eating salad, and every other everyday bodily function that I used to completely take for granted.

YMMV of course... and there are definitely changes since I got sick... but I learned the hard way that a lot of what we call happiness is rooted in a healthy body.

Death and infirmity will claim us all but, as Joyce points out so well, this gives value and meaning to things we take for granted.

Steve Jobs was right: