When people are on their death beds what are the things that they regretted most? What things do they wish they had done, said, had the courage to try, or focus their time and energy on? Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who works in palliative care decided to chronicle what she heard from her patients and summarized them in this list.
It’s amazing how sometimes the greatest clarity about life can come in the moments where we feel it is about to end. How in an instant, everything we thought we knew, all the “certainty” about how today was going to go is momentarily snatched away from us. In these moments, we have those firm reminders that life is fleeting and truly a gift to be appreciated.
The wonderful thing about life is that you do not need to be dying or have a near death experience in order to start appreciating life for all its majesty and wonder. Today, you can make the decision to start appreciating everything around you more!
You might be thinking, “It can’t be that simple, if I could do that I would already be appreciating stuff.” In all honesty, it really is just that simple. Our society and our culture is centered around us “not having enough” or “being inadequate”. That is how marketers convince us to buy things we don’t need and people convince us to spend our lives working to just “get more” without ever truly finding purpose.
What if I told you, you have everything you need right now to be happy and find purpose in life? Deep, meaningful purpose that will bring you feelings of ecstasy on a day-to-day basis. Would you believe me? Or are you already telling yourself reasons why that can’t be true.
Take a moment right now and tell yourself, “I have everything I need to be happy and fulfilled. I am strong and confident and can do anything I set my mind to. Today I will take my happiness into my own hands.” Now, saying it is not enough, that is just step 1. Take that positive mantra and use it to start looking for opportunities to take the negatives in your lives and turn them into positives.
Lisa Nichols, in her book “No Matter What,” talks about the fact that if we talked to our friends the way we talk to ourselves in our minds, we wouldn’t have any friends. The “negative chatter,” as she calls it, just runs rampant constantly tearing us down. And the reason? Because we let it.
It’s time for us to take back control of our minds and start becoming conscious of what we are thinking. That may sound silly but really be aware when you start having negative thoughts and why. Then squelch those ideas before they even have time to start developing. After that focus on something positive, a good joke you heard, how beautiful a day it is outside, or even just the wonderful fact that you are standing here today with the opportunity to choose to change your life.