In a popular article from the Guardian, the five biggest regrets of the dying is talked about. I really enjoyed this piece a lot and felt that it offers a good blue print for how to live life. If you haven't read the article yet, check it out.
Anyway, what I took from this article is that we make a much bigger deal out of things than we should, and that we are responsible for how we allow the world to impact us. We are responsible for our happiness and our choices in life shape who we are, but when faced with death, it is really the little things that matter.
Let me explain: The five regrets talked about in this article are regrets of working too hard, not staying true to oneself and acting as others expect you to act, not having the courage to express one's feelings, staying in touch with friends, and not choosing to be happier more. Wow! That's some pretty profound stuff there.
For me, one of the many thins this article reminds me of is that it is important to be who I am and not try to conform to someone else's standards. This is hard to do at times. I mean, my dad doesn't want me to become a writer. He has almost zero faith in my book, but I know I have to stay true to myself despite the difficult journey (and man would that journey be easier if my dad had faith in me.) So, for you readers, I think that despite how challenging it can be to be who you are, you must be brave and not allow other people or the world to hold you back whether this means changing careers, coming out about your sexuality, or whatever it is that is important to you.
What also struck a cord with me was the part about working too hard. Here in America, everyone places a super emphasis on working, and I think sometimes people lose sight of the bigger picture. To them, money becomes more important than happiness. Ironically, many people think money will buy them happiness, so they work even harder and become even more miserable. There has to be a balance, and imagine sitting on your death bed coming to the realization that you've worked away almost all of your life and didn't take the time out to appreciate the smaller things in life.
Now, I'm not going to touch upon all five topics discussed in the article, but I did want to talk about how happiness is a choice. I agree with the person who wrote the original article. Happiness is a choice. There are poor people in third world countries who are happy and yet own almost nothing, and then there are people in America who are quite miserable with life and yet have everything including a family, money, a home, a good car, TV, Internet, etc., etc., etc.
No one can make you happy except yourself. You might think your spouse or significant other is supposed to make you happy, but this is not the case. They might try to make you happy. You might even have the best spouse in the world, but in the end, you might end up in a depression and that would be no fault of their own. As well, you can be uber rich and super depressed as well. Money can't buy happiness. A great car can't create happiness. A nice home can't create happiness. No, you are responsible for being happy and that comes within and that is a choice.
Ultimately, what I am getting at here is that we rarely think about death. We avoid the topic. It scares a lot of us even though it is inevitable. But, by looking at death and thinking about what our lifes will really be like when we are about to die, enables us to take a step back and see life for what it really is. Often, we are too caught up in the moment and don't breathe and take a step back and give thought for what everything all means.
Hopefully, you found this an enlightening read. Please leave your comments and thoughts. I thank you for reading this blog entry and wish you a most Extraordinary Day!!!