DO ZOMBIE'S HAVE REGRETS?
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
Do you ever feel like you’re walking around like a mindless Zombie.
You get up, have breakfast, get ready for work, go to work, come home, make dinner, do the dishes, watch tv, go to bed….repeat…repeat…repeat.
Do you feel like you are sleep walking?
How does it feel?
Are you feeling stuck or frustrated?
Are you happy?
So many of us walk around in this zombie state instead of with purpose and clarity of what we want from life. We would be wise to take stock from the wisdom of the aged and as they approach death what regrets they have.
Author Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and put her findings into a book called “The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.” Here are the top five regrets:
#1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
“This was the most common regret of all,” says Ware. “When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made”.
What are your dreams?
We all have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. However, growing up; having children, working a 9 to 5 job, and paying the bills often puts those dreams on the back burner.
As we age, many of us give up on our dreams.
“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” ~Lucille Ball
YOU need to get rid of that shitty attitude and put on your big girls’ pants, face the fear and go after that dream no matter what other people say. It’s not going to be easy but do it while you have your health and the ability to do it.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are many tools to help you such as a vision-board to get clarity. You can reach out to family, friends, a coach or minister for guidance. Just don’t go back to your old ways and dismiss your dreams or you’ll regret it.
#2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. ...
Why are you spending so much time at work? The world will not end if you go home at 5pm and spend time with your family. Working like a maniac to buy more stuff does not make any sense.
No one is impressed by your bank account, your toys or your new car especially at the expense of spending time with your family and friends.
You can never get that time back. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do.
#3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.....
When you suppress your feelings in order to keep peace with others, it can cause bitterness and resentment and sometimes illnesses.
“We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end, it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win” explains Ward.
Our feelings can be big, scary monsters. In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman coined the phrase “amygdala hijacking,” the term to describe emotional responses from people which are immediate and overwhelming, and out of measure with the actual stimulus because it has triggered a much more significant emotional threat.
When powerful emotions take over, there is no thinking going on. Trying to hold it all in or stuffing the feelings back down does not work.
Learn to express your feelings in a way that you can convey your message in a non-confrontational manner that will leave you and the other person feeling heard.
#4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends…
In her book, Ward states, “Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks, and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”
Life gets busy, and sometimes it’s hard to stay in touch with friends. When someone is faced with death, you never hear them say I wished I worked more or spent less time with family and friends. All that matters in the final weeks is love and relationships
#5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice” says Ward.
We think happiness will flow over us when we reach our goals. Get into college, get married, have children, get the big job, lose the weight, go on the trip, ….
The problem with this theory is that the goal post keeps changing. Say we have a goal of getting into college, check. We’re happy…right. Well, yes for a while until the next goal comes up like getting good grades. You see we only allow ourselves to be happy short term until we decide on the next goal that will make us happy.
Positive Psychology "the scientific study of what makes life most worth living,"
suggested a number of ways in which individual happiness may be fostered but the number one is…
Happiness is a choice.
You can’t chase happiness by chasing after your goals. Don’t believe for a minute if you had everything on your list that you would be happy. You won’t.
Also, others don’t dictate your happiness. Blaming others is playing the victim card and takes the responsibility off of you. That’s BS. The outside world cannot predict your happiness only you can.
Remember it’s a choice.
Think of those people that are always happy. How do they do it? It’s not that they have everything in life. It’s a choice.
How to make happiness a choice? Pleasure and Purpose.
Pleasure is all about experiencing positive emotions, like joy, delight, and surprise, in the present moment.
Purpose is all about living a life that feels worthwhile to you.
So, enjoy that dinner with friends, be grateful for your legs that carried you on your walk, follow your dreams, express your feelings, take time to slow down, unplug, meditate and be more mindful in your day to day experiences and appreciate all the beautiful things in YOUR life.
In the end, the middle or where ever you are…
Life is a choice.
It is YOUR life.
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Barbara Murphy-Shannon is a Mindset Business Coach for Women Entrepreneurs. She puts out a weekly blog, offers workshops and retreats. Barbara@barbaramurphyshannon.com