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There is one thing that’s inevitable… death.
Someday you’ll breath your final breath, before kicking the proverbial bucket.
How much time you have is anyone’s guess, so it’s important to make the most of life.
Live it to the fullest, do all the things you dream to do, and exit the world with no
regrets.
But then most of us go about our day as if we’ll live forever; putting off what’s
really important until tomorrow.
Today we’ll be looking at those things we never get around to doing, in this episode
of The Infographics Show: 10 things old people say they regret not doing in their life.
Steve Jobs was a visionary who left his mark on the world.
His company Apple revolutionized the personal computing world with the invention of the
mac, changed the way we listen to music with the launch of the IPod, and connected the
world when the first IPhone was released.
Jobs himself was known for his energetic approach to life, inspiring people with his motivational
speeches.
Did he have any regrets?
You would think not, and his attitude towards death hints that he likely had none.
On his deathbed, Jobs looked at his sister Patty, then at his children, then at his life
partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them, before uttering his final words,
“Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow”.
His sister, Mona Simpson, described his tone as affectionate, dear and loving.
Though Jobs left the world early at the age of 56, it certainly seems that he did so without
regret.
But then Steve Jobs is not your everyday kind of person.
He led an extraordinary life.
What about those of us who will pass away without feeling that we have properly completed
the journey?
It seems that many of the regrets people have are the same.
Looking at what the media says and the real life experiences of doctors and nurses who
spend time with old people at the end of their life, here are the top ten most common regrets
that we came across.
10.
I wish I had learned a second language – Somewhat surprisingly, many people depart the world
wishing they had learnt a second language.
Maybe they feel they would have been able to connect with more people in life if they
spoke more than one language, or that travel to other countries and mixing with different
cultures would have been easier.
It could also be that learning languages used to be much harder than it is today with heaps
of internet resources, online classes, and language apps- so this regret should not exist
for much longer, as you really don’t have any excuses for not following through and
learning a language, if that’s something you wish to do.
9.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard - Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several
years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.
She was quoted in British newspaper, The Guardian, saying that this regret came from every male
patient she had nursed.
Because of working so hard, many people felt that they missed their children's youth and
their partner's companionship.
Some women also spoke of this regret, but as most of the people she nursed were from
an older generation, when women tended to spend their lives at home running the house
and being mothers, this regret was much more common with men.
That’s now changed of course, so it’s likely that in the future, this regret will
be high on the list for both men and women.
8.
I wish I had been better at expressing how I felt – Bronnie also said that many of
her patients expressed regret that they suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with
others.
Because of this, they never accomplished the things they wanted to.
Some of her patients even developed illnesses due to the bitterness they carried around
as a result of hiding their true feelings.
Dr Barton Goldsmith who writes for online magazine Psychology Today says that when you
express how you really feel, problems get solved, relationship issues get resolved,
and life is easier.
You will also enjoy your life more because you’re not holding on to unhealed or confusing
feelings.
7.
I wish I had taken better care of my body – if you don’t look after your body, your
time to leave will come much faster, so it’s no surprise that many people express this
regret on their deathbed.
Obesity, smoking, or excessive drinking, can all drive you to an early death.
Most things in life can be replaced.
A new car or a new house, but you can’t nip down to the shop and buy a new replacement
body.
So if this is one regret you think you might have when your time is up, it’s probably
better to make some changes today.
6.
I wish I had been more selective with my romantic relationships – One of the most common fears
that people have in life is never meeting their soulmate.
The person they are meant to spend the rest of their life with.
And of course this can show up when death is near, with the regret that life was spent
with the wrong lover.
Maybe a person has been in a toxic or abusive relationship, or they walked away from the
person they were meant to be with.
Many stay in relationships because they worry they may end up alone at the end of life,
but when they do reach the end, some of these people are suddenly faced with regret that
the romantic choices they made may have been incorrect.
So if you think you’re in this zone, maybe now is the time to get back to swiping on
Tinder so you have no regrets in later life.
5.
I didn’t need to worry so much – Karl Pillemer, a Professor of Human Development
at Cornell University and the author of “30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice
from the Wisest Americans, spoke to nearly 1,500 elderly people asking them one simple
question: “What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?”
One of the most common responses he received was people saying they wish they had not worried
so much.
One example is John Alonzo, an 83 year old man who had been a construction worker, and
who had battled a lifetime of financial insecurity.
But he didn’t think twice in giving this advice: Don’t believe that worrying will
solve or help anything.
It won’t.
So stop it.
That was it- his one life lesson was simply to stop worrying.
4.
I wish I had spent more time outside of my comfort zone – To quote Albert Einstein
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting
different results.”
And if you spend a life doing the same thing over and over, waiting for something exciting
to happen, then it probably won’t.
Exciting things happen when you get out there and make them happen.
But it’s often easier said than done, and many of us stick close to comfort in the hope
of an easier life.
So when you reach the end and you’re looking back on it as a whole, you’ll be much more
proud if you can say that the most unease you felt was that day you went skydiving,
not the time you had to choose whether to eat meat or fish at dinner.
3.
I could have given back more – Most of us will wait until the bank account is stacked
up with cash before deciding to give a few dollars to the local charity, but it seems
people find themselves on their deathbed regretting that they didn’t give more.
Giving does not need to be about money though.
More often it’s about helping and supporting others with what you can offer as a human
being, and expecting nothing in return.
Maybe you have useful skills, or sometimes just a listening ear.
Imagine you’re attending your own funeral, and you hear a friend giving your eulogy.
What would you want them to be saying?
Most likely you would want to hear them talk about what a great person you were, and how
you had an impact on their life.
There’s only one way to ensure you get a eulogy of this kind, and that’s by giving
back and by helping others.
2.
I wish I pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me – One
of the most common regrets we found was this one: people who had arrived at the end of
their life and had missed out on many of their hearts desires because they were too busy
living up to what others expected of them.
Our nurse Bronnie Ware said that most people had not honored even half of their dreams,
and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made, because
of how others might judge them.
There is a freedom that comes with being close to death, but often that freedom is also when
you realize the things you missed out on.
So if you have things you feel you should be doing…today, not tomorrow, is when to
act.
1.
I wish I had spent more time with people I care about – Many of us get caught up in
the daily activities of life.
Working, shopping, raising the kids, holidays.
It’s hard not to be consumed by the endless cycle, but then later in life, we’re faced
with not having spent enough quality time with friends and family.
With all the research we looked at online, this is the most common regret.
Everyone misses their friends & family when they reach the end, and they start to regret
not spending more time with them in life.
It can also work in reverse, where the people who are left behind also feel the regret.
In 2014, when President Obama spoke at a town hall meeting at Malaya University in Kuala
Lumpur, he said.
"I regret not having spent more time with my mother.
She died early, she got cancer right around when she was my age, actually, she was just
a year older than I am now.
It happened very fast, in about six months."
Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, died in 1995 of ovarian cancer at age 52, when Obama was 34.
Well, that’s our list of 10 things old people say they regret not doing in their life.
There are of course many more.
So, how do you intend to live a life without regrets?
Let us know in the comments!
Also be sure to check out our other video, What Happens When You Die?!
Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.
See you next time!
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年長者分享 10 件人生中後悔沒做的事! (10 Things Old People Say they Regret Never Doing In Their Life)

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Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 9 月 10 日   Erin Chen 翻譯   Evangeline 審核
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