“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.” – Francis Chan

When we come to the end of our life, we all want to be able to look back and feel fulfillment, purpose and peace.

The last thing we want is to have regrets.

We can learn a lot from people who have gone before us, including people at their end-stage of life who have shared about their own regrets. The infographic below on based on regrets expressed by people in nursing homes and palliative care.

Top 10 Regrets Of The Dying
Original Source: www.addicted2success.com

Have No Regrets

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Top 10 Regrets Of The Dying Top 10 Regrets Of The Dying

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61 Responses

  1. Leaving high school right now, this makes me realise what I need to focus on in the near and distant future alike. Thanks for the great content Dale

  2. With Bronnie’s article I found that I was humbled by a disability later in life and I have no regrets. I say you don’t need a lot of stuff to make you happy, you just need LOVE by your family and friends. If you FEEL the love your will be fulfilled. Spent time to FEEL the LOVE!

  3. I am thankful to have undergone a lot of therapy and made a lot of growth in my life to know that I won’t have any of these except possibly two of them.

    Number 4 is hard for a lot of men. I use to not being able to say it a lot and then I was finally able to say it to the people in my life and now I say it all the time. The beautiful thing about it was that my dad never really said he loved me until I was past 20. I started saying it to him and he says it back and even says it himself to me without me seeing it first.

    Number 5 and 6 are so important. I use to hold a lot of bitterment when I was younger, but when I finally learned to say what I needed to say and take responsibility for myself, it changed my life drastically and made me happier.

    The two I might have are not saving enough for retirement and having children, but I’m 24 so I have a long time to go before deciding any of that. The other ones I am working on so I am happy about that : D.

    Thanks for the post Dale. I am sure this will help a lot of people. It helped me when I originally ran across the study a while back.

    1. Your thoughts were also very helpful Sebastian….It’s true… number 4 is difficult especially if the person u want to say it to hurt you so much.

      As regard numbers 5 and 6, well, sometimes what u hold back are really significant emotions that may never be understood by other people (so might as well really keep them). However, there are time u have to say what must be spoken.

      GOD bless u Sebastian

      1. Thanks liwrihs. That is true it can be hard in those situations, but you have to do it for yourself.

        That is true. I have found that even though the other person might not understand them that it is still beneficial for me to say them. You never know how someone will react to what you say. They will interpret whatever you say based on their own unique life experiences and such. Holding back the emotions just hurts you and who knows, maybe sharing it with them will help them too even if they understand it in a different way than you do.

        I use to be so afraid of sharing my emotions/hurts with someone who I cared about because of a fear that they wouldn’t respond the way I’d want them to. I eventually realized that I was afraid of the spontaneity of life and the person’s response. When I went in with the belief that it doesn’t matter how they take it, I need to do this for my own health, it changed me. I was relieved of the stress of holding everything in and I wasn’t worried about how they took it and it ended up making our relationship better. I could speak my mind and I allowed them to be their own unique person.

        Have a great weekend.

  4. I have a terminal disease and I can’t express how true these words are. Don’t let anything slip by. It’s better to regret something you did then something you didn’t do.

  5. Hi Dale, I always enjoy reading your posts and they seem to come at the perfect time. I always wondered about this when I visit my grandma in the retirement home, she lives from memories and tells me the best stories of her life over and over again. I guess at the end when you cannot move by yourself and are dependent on someone to take of you, you realize that even the freedom that we have now of being independent in our daily lives is something we should cherish, as many don’t have that. I struggle with number 3, I am getting better at spending more time with friends. Also, number 5 has put my family (siblings through a lot of pain lately), I’m hoping that the situation will get better between us but is my younger sister who is having a difficult time speaking her mind constructively that has caused the family to split is a tough situation but I have faith that it will all work out soon! Thank you!

  6. I have tried to live my life this way since losing so many close people through death. It makes you think how precious life is and it is not to be taken for granted. We cannot live life thinking we will grow old and can wait until then. We need to love life as though it’s the last day on earth we have & not have regrets. Start now, you will not be dissapointed

  7. Thank you so much for this wonderful article Dale! You’re an angel for providing constant reminders of good things! 🙂

  8. 6 & 10 are my story ‘
    6 is lesson i leaned hardest way ” paid a huge price ”.
    10 is something i wish i knew how”to do that ,it makes me wonder how when so much stuff puts you down.. its like Battle every day b/w +ive & -ive thoughts

  9. Dear Mr. Patridge, I would like to thank you for researching and sharing such inspiring articles.. I am sure in each of these u have made someones day… and this particular one has…

  10. Dale, a random Tweet on Twitter hit my account & now I follow you on Twitter after seeing myself in so many posts on your site. “10 regrets” article I’d say #10 is my nemesis. I work in corporate America. Fell into the career 20 years ago. Don’t like the work, the politics/managers who do & know nothing yet control our lives without care for the workers or their families. We are puppets who cover their incompetence. I want more time with my family & freedom to do something I enjoy & am interested in. I’ve settled for mediocrity and no change due to familiarity and ignoring my passions and interests–citing any excuse to keep familiarity and routine. Time to make a serious leap of faith, shed this skin & forge a new me–because I do not like where I am at career wise. I can do better, I deserve better. They (management) does that to people, tears our faith in ourselves away… into thinking we can only do what we do. It’s illusion, creates fear/doubt in ourselves, so they have the power over us. Time to break away, so while I’m still young, I don’t have to have #10 as my regret. Thanks for this article and all others on this site.

  11. I can appreciate all these things. However, when we say “happiness is a choice” for some folks, it isn’t a choice. I understand appreciation, gratefulness, etc., but some folks are depressed and need help due to chemical imbalances. Happiness is the farthest thing from a clinically depressed person’s mind. I think a positive attitude always helps, if possible.

    1. And many of us do find happiness when we look for it. If you look to be depressed you will remain so, if you seek happiness and fulfillment then that is what you’ll get. Life is a state of mind. Just ask the people who survived the concentration camps; they’re all happy because they chose to be so – not because they watched their loved ones die. Life IS a choice, choose wisely! ; )

  12. This is a good list but I don’t agree that happiness is a choice. Happiness is also a process, and for many who suffer from depression or other difficult circumstances, it’s important to validate those barriers. Believing you can just choose to be happy implies that when you’re not happy, it’s your fault. That’s flawed logic in a world full of intricate choices and relationships.

    1. Fault? Not sure where you dug that up, but we are responsible for our reaction to the world around us. We’re not victims doomed to depression. Ever hear the expression FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. I’ve used that technique many times. It’s helped me get out of my funk on many occasion. Depression runs deep and wide in my family tree, we’ve lost several to suicide. I didn’t just wake up one day and start singing with joy, I had to work at it by way of using 12 step programs, therapy, venting with friends, spiritual outreach and making a conscience choice each day to choose to be happy! Today I can whole heartedly say I am happy its not longer a struggle to get there, I am here, but yes it takes time to make that change, but it is possible IF one puts in the time and effort! ; )

      1. Thanks. I I have used this technique but have forgotten it. Thanks for reminding me. I am starting it tomm! Thanks! FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!

    2. I agree with you. Not every item on the list applies to every person equally. Positive thinking will always make life better, but, depending on your situation, doesn’t always make one happy in the short run. However, in the long run, I suspect it builds a sort of momentum. I think the people who quote that regard are generally ones who weren’t suffering clinical depression, but for whom life didn’t measure up to their ideal expectations and spent a large amount of time thinking about that and letting it get to them. That probably isn’t you.

    3. Great observation, and very true. Unhappiness can be like bad weather, impossible to avoid and difficult to escape. I find the best cure for a bout of that is intense exercise–it leaves you wondering what you were worrying about in the first place.

  13. Number 4–I always feel a bit of a heel when i return the”I love you” because the other person said it first,but your list has encouraged me to be first in line Dale,thanks for the list.

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