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5 tips to live a life with no regrets- Told by People on Deathbed

Updated on December 12, 2012

We all have things in our lives that we wish we had done or done differently. It should be no surprise then that when nearing the end of their lives many people find they have regrets. When facing their own mortality many people are struggling with a great deal of emotions. They often find themselves evaluating their lives and the choices they have made. When questioned about the things that they regretted or would do differently many terminally ill patients had similar regrets. Of all the things that people can regret about their lives there where 5 things that where regretted the most.


I wish I had the courage to live life true to myself.

Everyone has a bucket list, whether it is an actual list or just thoughts in their head. Everyone has dreams for their future, things that they want to accomplish in their lives. Unfortunately, many people allow the daily grind of life to carry them away and push their dreams to the side. After all, there is always tomorrow or next year to take that trip or start that business. When looking back at the end of their lives many people find that many of their dreams have gone unfulfilled. They realize that due to choices they made or actions they did not take that there are many things they wanted to do and no longer have the time for. It is important that people live their lives today and try to fulfill as many of their dreams as possible because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard

This has been a common regret among men who are now facing death. However, it is like to become a more common regret among women now that so many women are now working outside the home. While it is certainly necessary to work and provide for your family, many men look back on their lives and realize they spent so much time providing what they thought their families needed that they never got to enjoy those families. If you take the time to decide what your priorities are for yourself and your family you will often find that you don’t need the level of income that that you think. Don’t under estimate the value of quality time with you when considering what your family needs. After all most children would choice time with their parents over material possessions any day.

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

Many people go through life holding their feeling in, never letting others know how they really feel. Often people keep their feeling of anger or hurt to themselves in order avoid conflicts with the people in their lives. Not only can the stress of holding thee types of feelings in make you seek it damages your relationships. Speaking honestly about how you feel will strengthen your relationships and if those around you can’t deal with your emotions your probably better off without them. This also applies to more positive emotions. Many people look back on their lives and regret not telling loved ones how they felt. Often they avoided showing these emotions because they thought it made them appear weak or because they were afraid of rejection. Don’t reach the end of your life and find that the people that where most important to you don’t know how you felt.

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

Many people reach the final weeks and months of their lives and find they want to connect with their old friends one more time. Often they got caught up in their daily lives and gradually let relationships with dear friends slip away. Now facing death they are regretting not putting the time and effort into maintaining those friendships. Unfortunately, by the end it is often too late to track down and reconnect with these friends. Don’t wait until you are to sick and or weak to truly connect with the people in your life. During your youth it will often take a concerted effort to maintain friendships but it is an effort that will pay off in later years.

5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

Many people realize at the end of their lives that happiness is a choice, one that they failed to make. Often people get stuck into a rut, just going through the motions of their lives. They are so busy chasing tomorrow that they forget to stop and enjoy today. No matter where you are in your life there are things for you to appreciate and be grateful for. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to look at your life and realize all the good things you have. Each day of your life is full of opportunities and choices. Try to live life in a way that ensures you will reach the end having lived a fulfilling and happy life, not one full of regrets.


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    • anshuminesh19 profile image


      2 years ago from Ahmedabad, India

      Awesome Article. I love this. Will Share it on Social Media

    • Melissa Black profile image

      Melissa Black 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ga

      Awesome. I loved this! Thank you for the insight.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 

      5 years ago from South Florida

      beautiful! Great tips and a wonderful hub!

    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 

      5 years ago from India / Australia

      Very true. You have narrated the extract of life in few words. It's very useful article and we should remember all tips. Think twice about how you're living your life, because you aren’t going to get to live it twice. Life is to live your own way so don't waste it living someone else's life.

      Thanks for sharing such a nice hub.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great tips on living life with no regrets.

      The following quotes came to mind when I was reading.

      "Stop and smell the roses"

      “Things don't matter, people do”

      "Happiness is a state of mind"

      Voted up, awesome and sharing

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I feel the same, I enjoy everyday as much as I can and don't wait for events to make me happy that doesn't work with my lifestyle, happiness comes from within not from other people or things.

    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 

      5 years ago from US of A

      I agree. These are great things to keep in mind. One of the things I remind people I know when they find themselves working themselves to death is to ask themselves whether they would have wished that they had more time to work when they are at their deathbed. I generally tell them that most likely, they would say something like "I wish I had spent more time with my family".

    • cianeko profile image

      AT Abueva 

      5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This is one of the ideal works that I am looking for!

    • picklesandrufus profile image


      5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      I really take this hub to heart. It is a kindly reminder to live without regrets. Nice work!

    • profile image

      Jerrywhyte Obamwonyi 

      5 years ago

      great life lessons that we should have at our daily living

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Words to live by and definitely food for thought. Very good article.

    • tebo profile image


      5 years ago from New Zealand

      A good reminder to take the time and think about what we do and what/who is important in our lives. Well written and very worthwhile. Thanks.

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 

      5 years ago from Miami, US

      Very true...very interesting. These are thing that we undoubtedly must ponder from time to time, so this hub serves as a lovely reminder.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      writer....This is superb.....and you made me cry.......UP+++

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Hey Gypsy Rose Lee

      Thanks dear :)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Thanks dear for the compliment :)......And I must say that you should remain in touch with your close frndzz n lovely oness :)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Yes you are absolutely right Mr Ericdierker........Thanks for the compliment you made it on my hub:)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Thanks OanaBoteanu for a lovely feedback :)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Hii catmalone

      First of all a hearty thanks for appreciating my hub dear.......I think you have taken my hub on a right way and hope that you understood what i was trying to depict in this whole hub.......Thanks again sweetie and do visit my hubs in future :)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Hey MickeySr

      Aah what a lovely feedback i had received from you.......And thanks for appreciating my hub.......Do visit on my future hubs dear :)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Hii bumbershoot

      Thanks dear and do visit on my future hubs :)

    • writerscentro profile imageAUTHOR

      Aditya Soni 

      5 years ago from India

      Hii carol7777

      Thanks for the compliments dear ........And it felt great by seeing u commenting on my hubs........Keep coming on my future hubs :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a great reminder that we still have time to do the things we have neglected to do. Thank you. I can relate with with some of your tips..Cheers.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This is a very and thought provoking article. It is something to realize the truth and it is another to have the courage to live it.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Interesting hub. I think that there will always be regrets down the line unless we have a perfectly set up living plan. Inspirational though and thought provoking. Passing this on.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      5 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      The one that really resonates with me it connecting with old friends. There are some friends that I haven't been in touch with for years that I keep thinking about, and meaning to contact. This hub is inspiration for me to do that, so thanks. Voted up, interesting and useful!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Funny but those 5 are not at all the things we regret while still living. My grandpa taught me: "we get too soon oldt and too late schmardt". Maybe that gentle old German man learned in time.

    • WillStarr profile image


      5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Good points.

      One of my biggest surprises working with professional women was the percentage who secretly longed to quit and go home to raise their children. Many started crying when they talked about it, because it was time they could never get back.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for this. Very nice, reminding us for the things we should stop, think, and enjoy in life. It really makes me think right now about my day, how I spent the whole day on the computer working and very little enjoying and praising this beautiful day in my life. I will ensure I have a lovely evening :)

      Thanks again for this, beautiful hub. Voting up !

    • catmalone profile image


      5 years ago

      Very nice hub! I can agree to what you’re saying. Life is too short to be waiting for certain events to take place in order to take action on your goals and plans in life. When I put things off, it’s not a good feeling. When time passes I feel regrets and wish I have taking action. These small regrets can become big regrets at the end of your life. Now is the time to take action and not put off things we can do today, because tomorrow is never promised.

    • MickeySr profile image


      5 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      And, I think maybe at the top of the list of living a life with no regrets; care more for others than you care for yourself. As George Washington lie dying, he said "Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go . . . I feel myself going; I thank you for your attentions; but I pray you take no more trouble about me" and instructed his doctor to leave him as attend to other patients he may be able to help. The last words George Washington spoke -"'Tis well!".

    • bumbershoot profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for the reminder of what life should be like! Great hub. Voted up.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      this is a good lesson for those living and breathing. thanks for sharing these thoughts. Voting Up and sharing...A reminder for all of us to make the decision of happiness.


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