Day #641:The Surest Paths To a Life of Regrets

Have you ever noticed if you meet any young professional these days and you ask the question; “How are you?” You get this rapid-fire answer of all of the things they are doing: traveling, business updates, career changes and taking care of kids (for those who already have). It always sounds like an intense but satisfying life.

If you probe further and ask again, “How are you really?”  you get the emotional, and the reality of life flooding out of anyone you talk to:stress,with the new boss or this new deal, frustration of trying to juggle it all, the sense that he/she had no time to really think, or play with their children, or enjoy any of it.

The (cute) summary is this: our schedule was always filled but our lives are rarely fulfilled.What’s less cute is that, for most of us, living in this way is one of the surest paths to a life of regrets.

An Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, has written about the regrets of the dying, drawn from conversations with people in palliative care.At the top of that list is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”Second on the list was “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

What fascinates me about this list is that no one tells themselves, “My goal is to live a life that others expect of me that isn’t true to myself.” The question that should grab us by the lapels, is, “Why do otherwise intelligent, driven, successful, capable people end up where they didn’t intend to be?” What about you? Have you ever felt motion sickness rather than momentum? Have you ever sensed there was a more meaningful life available to you, but your to-do list was keeping you from it? Do you ever feel tricked by the trivial?

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