Not living fully is the greatest regret

By Younas Chaudhary

In her well-known book, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, Bonnie Ware writes about her time spent with the terminally ill in the last three to six weeks of their lives. These dying people shared 5 main regrets in common:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

I agree with their regret. I want to live a life that is truer to myself as I live alone in my golden years which is quite hard day in day out. I am a private person. I try to keep myself busy and occupied, but the loneliness gets to you. I am being true to myself.

Younas Chaudhary

We should interact and meet people who are positive, happy, and have good social values. But, sometimes our own values of setting an example for family and leaving a legacy prevent us from moving forward. I continue to struggle and work towards to living a life true to myself, not the life society or my culture expects. Each of us should live life the way we want before it gets too late.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

I do not regret working hard in my younger years as that has paid off well. As one becomes older, one should only do work that one enjoys and not work just to pay your bills. The pace at which I work has fallen to about 20 percent of what I used to do. I am happy and I love all the spare time I have these days. Work hard, but as you get older find time to enjoy the beauty of life.

   3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Inhibitions have cost me in life. I have often given so much importance to culture, upbringing, family, and traditional societal values that I have hidden my true feelings. I have felt as if there was a mental block preventing me from showing the courage to express my feelings clearly and freely. I suggest that we should show courage to express our feelings and do not allow inhibitions to overpower us.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

I regret the fact that I did not spend more time with my two close childhood friends, one who lived in Canada and the other in Pakistan. It has been a decade since their passing, and I wish that I had contacted them frequently and kept a close friendship. I have no excuses here and my claim that I was busy with my life is an inadequate justification. They were my childhood friends; we had a deeper bond, and I should have stayed in touch with them. So, I strongly suggest that we should stay closely connected to our friends, meet them regularly, and converse with them as often as we can.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

We all agree here to be happier, however, putting this into practice is tough. The best way for me to be happy currently  is to help and serve other people. A smile, a greeting, a friendly hug…can go a long way in making one feel happier. 

I have had certain regrets since childhood. However, with the passage of time, I stopped regretting the past. I try to live for today and be happy.

Regrets are human and sometimes we human beings do stupid things like buying cryptocurrency and then regretting later. Remember that greed causes lots of regrets in our lives.

So, how do you overcome regret? The best way is to own your mistakes, learn from the past, and believe that good fortune is lurking around the corner for you. A life without regrets is a simple life, a happy life where you serve others more than chase material pursuits. Let all of us overcome our regrets. Blessings!


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.

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