7 Most Common Regrets People Have Before They Die

Being human means constantly changing and maturing. Psychologists believe that every five years a person sheds his believes and wants and evolves into a completely new person with similar core values, but with an altered perception of the world and altered priorities. And because our life is a journey in which we are constantly changing and growing there are bound to be certain decisions made by our past self that we later regret looking back on in hindsight.

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But this little feeling of regret we feel every day is not even close to looking back on your life and realizing you wished you had lived your life differently. J.R.R Tolkien explains the feeling of wanting more in life through his poem in the fellowship of the ring,

I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be, when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see,

For still there are so many things that I have never seen, in every wood, in every spring there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago, and people who will see a world that i shall ever know,

But all the while I sit and think of times that were before, I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

And so, a dying man gets a unique look on his life because its finally it ends. We’ve done some research and have listed out some of the main things people regret when they are about to breath their last.

1. I wish I had spent more time with my family:

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People spend their lives running after money and miss most of the important events in their loved one’s lives because they are so busy being the breadwinners of the family. Several males from the older generation have this regret because once they can clearly look back on their life and watch it all unfold in front of them they realize that they’ve missed out on what matters the most because of something that holds no value on their death bed.

2. I wish I had lived my life like I had wanted:

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People regret not going after their dreams and living life trying to live up to the standards of someone else. They think over the time in their youth when they wanted to try out singing or acting or painting but instead chose a different profession because it was stable or secure. Men and women both have this regret and wish they had done things differently.

3. I wish I had been more honest about my feelings:

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Most of the time we hold back on confessions of love or anger because we are afraid of making a fool out of ourselves or are too scared to stand up for what we believe in. People who are dying usually regret not speaking their minds because of these irrational fears, they look back on their lives and see all the things they could have done, all the people they let down and all the people they lost because they couldn’t speak their minds.

4. I wish I’d allowed myself to stop and smell the flowers:

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We live our lives in the pursuit of something and usually forget to stop and enjoy the view of the mountain we’ve climbed. People regret not having fun or not allowing themselves to feel happiness the most on their death bed. It’s only by looking back at their life do they realize that happiness is a choice and that you can happy in any circumstances as long as you have good people around you and a good heart inside you. It’s only after they’ve spent their lives do they finally see that the only thing standing between them and peace was themselves.

5. I wish I hadn’t cared so much about what the world thought and simply lived:

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We live most of our life under societies shadow, wondering what people think of us and living in fear of standing out and being different or ridiculed. Because of this, several people spend their lives being someone they are not because they fear being socially rejected. Because of this fear, people spend their entire lives in hiding and only realize that they didn’t need to on their deathbeds.

6. I wish I hadn’t burned so many bridges:

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A lot of times we leave people on petty squabbles and later are too proud to look back on them because we’re lost in being too proud and so lose a relationship or a close friend in the process. This kind of attitude leaves to a lot of burned bridges and lost friends and even family. People often look back and remember the people they’ve left behind chasing after their egos, and have wished that they hadn’t burned so many bridges and been humbler and kinder.

7. I wish I had lived a more meaningful life:

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We live most of our youth in pursuit of useless and meaningless things, like bodily pleasures and popularity and lose sight of more important things like making connections and living our lives to the fullest. Later, on the deathbed, several people realize their mistakes and wish that they had lived differently and hadn’t wasted their times in shallower wants and had worked towards something more important and meaningful.

Try to Carry as little regrets as possible:

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Having no regrets isn’t possible, as I’ve explained before eventually, every older adult will look on their lives with regrets wishing that they could relive their lives but that isn’t possible. But what is possible is that you live life to the fullest, that you don’t waste the time you have and make good use of it. So love your family, spend time with your friends and be humble and forgiving. Go over what the dying really regret and bring a positive change in your life that changes you for the better. So when the time comes, because it’s coming sooner or later for us all, you can go with a smile on your face.

Article by Born Realist