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The 2 Most Common Regrets

July 17, 2012

I spent a couple of years ministering as a hospice chaplain. Every day I’d spend time talking and praying with people who were within six months of their death. During our conversations they’d often share their life’s regrets. Eventually, I noticed that there were two common regrets that people shared. Can you guess what they were?

Before my chaplain experience, I would have guessed, “Not achieving my ‘bucket list’ goals”, “Never reaching certain lifestyles”, or “I missed out on fame and money”. But none of those were ever mentioned to me.

The two regrets I commonly heard expressed from people nearing death were: 1) I wish I’d prioritized relationships and 2) I wish I’d traveled more.

1) Prioritize Relationships 

Who are the people that you want holding your hand when you die? Prioritize those relationships.

Today you’ll have work to do, meetings to attend, emails to send, and commitments to keep. Have a productive day but prioritize those relationships.

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:13

2) Be adventurous

What dreams are you pursuing?

Yesterday Stephen Covey died three months after a bicycle accident. Like many of you, I am so grateful for his books on values.

One thing is obvious, Covey lived a life of adventure. At the age of 79 he was knocked unconscious in a bicycle accident on a steep road in the foothills of Provo, Utah.

As he died this quote by a family member caught my attention: “In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted.”

They could probably add, “no regrets.”


From → Family, Leadership

  1. Marla permalink

    This was just what I needed to hear today. I have a tendency to push people away for the fear that I might get to close to them and then lose them. This has been my past experience. How wrong is that idea??? Well as of today I am going to make all of my relationships worth it. It is better to be close then not have a good realationship and then later regret it. Thanks so much for the eye opener. Also, sounds like it’s time for me to go on vacation. Another regret I will have if I don’t just DO IT!!!

    • Thanks for sharing that Marla! You’re such a wonderful person so people should have the privilege of knowing you better. Appreciate you.

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