Five Principles To Enjoy A Life Without Regret
What will you regret when you look back at your life towards the end of it?
When I was a university student I saw a movie called “Grumpy Old Men”. It’s a funny movie, but a part in the movie had a big impact on the way I saw life. In the movie, a 90 year old man gives a piece of advice to his senior citizen son: “At the end of your life, the only regrets will not be the things you did… it will be the things you didn’t do…“.
A palliative care nurse called Bronnie Ware listed the five regrets of the dying based on the time she spent with people she cared for in their last days:
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 didn’t work 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.
Paul Graham cleverly pointed out that these are errors of omission, which we do by default. So he reworded them into five commands and placed them at the top of his to-do list.
I reworded them into five commands, or principles, that came out a little different:
1- Follow Your Dreams
2- Balance Life and Work
3- Speak Your Mind
4- Nurture Friendships
5- Choose to Be Happy
I also created a wallpaper so I can see this everyday. Feel free to use and share it with anyone who might benefit from it.