You Raise Me Up!

This  video post is dedicated to the parents, coaches, teachers, mentors, friends and others who support and enable us to become our possibility. You make a difference. We are grateful. Thank you.

 

My 2012 Quest

Five Regrets of Dying People


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By Bonnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

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

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

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

Bonnie Ware is the author of the new book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.  Visit her official website Inspiration and Chai.

Source:  http://www.activistpost.com/2011/11/top-5-regrets-of-dying.html

The Importance of Listening

 

It is amazing how under appreciated the skill of listening is. Listening is important in personal relationships, business and personal development.

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

— Henry David Thoreau, Author

In personal relationships having someone listen to you, really listen to you, without advising you, without waiting to provide a response, but simply to hear you, to understand you, is rare. It is also a wonderful gift.

How many times has someone really listened to you without an agenda? How many times have you listened to someone, just to hear them?

“We listened to what our customers wanted and acted on what they said. Good things happen when you pay attention.”

— John F Smith, Former CEO and President General Motors

To listen to your customers intently to understand their wants, their problems or needs and their expectations is the most important market research you can do. Early in my career I was a top salesman. From experience I can tell you that the most important sales tool is the right question and the ability to listen to and understand the answer. Selling, is after all, problem solving. Once you understand the customers problem you can provide the right solution. It never ceases to amaze me how many salespeople are anxious to present me their solution before they understand my problem.

Do you ask questions to understand the problem before presenting your solution? How could you improve your questions and your listening?

“Listen to the chorus of voices in your own head. If they express worry, doubt, or fear counter them by asking yourself empowering questions to reframe your thinking.”

— Vivo Saggezza, mentor

Ask yourself, “What can I learn. Who can I get to help? How can I reduce risk? How can I increase my confidence? Who do I know who has done this before?

You will find answers that empower you. Your thinking will change to the action you can take to achieve your objective.

Better listening can improve your personal life, your business success and your personal development. What can you do today to improve your listening?

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