Life comes with many regrets. But it doesn’t have to, if you choose to live your life deliberately. Last month, I shared the top five regrets people have on their deathbeds. Today, we kick off this month’s detailed view of each regret to see how we can proactively avoid having these regrets ourselves. Regret #1: I wish I would’ve lived a life true to myself. When someone is on their deathbed and names this regret as one of their own, it tears my heart into pieces – game over. How would you define living a life true to yourself? What would it take to live that life? As social creatures, it’s inevitable that we’re influenced by others in our lives. We put the needs and preferences of others first, sometimes denying the existence of our own. When we do things simply because we want to gain acceptance or please others, we give a little bit of ourselves away. We deny our own existence, and doing so denies the world a chance to witness our true form. Unfortunately I can’t tell you how to live a genuine life. Only you know how – you’re the expert of you. Luckily, I can help provide some insight that might be helpful for you if you’re ready:
1. Create a life creed. A life creed is a one or two sentence mantra that you live by. No. Matter. What. Mine is: See the beauty in all things. Give permission to be inspired. Your life creed is a rule that you live by – something that resonates with who you are at your core. Contemplate seriously about how you’ll utilize this gift of life. What will be on your epitaph? What is your legacy?
2. Write down your five core values. Your five values should help you delineate a set of rules to follow in all of your actions. It helps you understand how you choose to show up in the world, and it’s quite a liberating feeling. If you’re struggling with this exercise, think about the times someone else has really angered you. They’ve broken one of your values – the stronger the reaction, the higher your value. My five values are: to act with integrity, respect others, say what I mean and mean what I say, listen first, and be a role model. Each one of these values comes from understanding times that others have really annoyed or angered me and taking the time to understand that it is my soul’s way of telling me what my spiritual makeup looks like.
3. Be bold. Choose to be goofy. Choose to laugh. Choose to be scared. As best we know, we only have one life here. Make the most of it. Find things that scare you. And do them anyway. It’s a misconception that only the fearless move ahead and live fully. No one is ever really fearless in everything. Fear is evolution’s way of keeping you safe. If you have a yearning for something but can’t get yourself to act because of a tremendous amount of fear, start with something small. Prove to yourself that you can face your fears. Let this newfound sense of confidence trickle into all of what you do – be daring. Be honest. Be kind. Be extraordinary for the good of this world.
The world will never witness another you again. Don’t blow it. We’re not guaranteed any second chances. We’ve been given this gift of life to share ourselves with the world, and if we choose to live a life as a series of reactions to others, we’re denying this world a gift that Life, God, or the Universe intended. Live like you mean it. Live truly. Truly live. Figure out what’s important to you, define your values, and write your own story. Then, cross this off your list.
Regret #1: I wish I would’ve lived a life true to myself.