I've experienced a couple of deaths lately and this has me thinking about life. Isn't it funny how that works?
By chance I picked up a book a few months ago that sat on the bottom of my pile until recently. It is called "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying" by Bronnie Ware. (And yes, her name is Bronnie, not Bonnie.)
Fascinating. Motivating. Thought-provoking.
What do you think Regret #1 is?
I will spare you the suspense ...
Regret #1 is: "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
So, I've been asking myself every morning: Is this day - at least most of it - the day I want to live? Or is it mostly the day others expect me to live?
Pretty great questions, aren't they?
If I notice too many activities that are not true to who I know myself to be I am going to start cutting those things out of my life, out of my days.
If I notice not enough space, time, or energy for the things in my life that feel truest to me, then I will create more space, say no more often, remove obligatory tasks, cut out dumb time wasters.
I want to move more and more toward living every day in such a way that I don't experience Regret #1 when I face the end, whenever that may be.
Way too many of our younger years are often spent trying to gain the approval of others - our peers, our parents, our own inner critic.
As I move through these middle years, I happily find myself worrying less and less about what other folks think of me. I care more and more about what I think of myself. I really only do a few things well. Thankfully, those same things bring me life and joy.
My current mantra is as simple as this:
Do the things that are the most you. Don't do the other things. The end.