Why Wait Til The End?

This world is full of economic, political, social, and global uncertainty. Seems everyone is striving for something, or struggling through something, of laboring to control something. But in the end, does any of it matter? And if not, what does?

Consider this. Bronnie Ware was a palliative care nurse. In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, she wrote, “My patients were those who had gone home to die. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.”

Bronnie had the opportunity to ask many of them about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently. “Common themes surfaced again and again,” she said.

Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. (This was the most common regret of all.) “Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. (This came from every male patient that she nursed.) “All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. “Many people suppressed their feelings … and many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. “Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. (This was a surprisingly common one.) “Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Take some time today to ponder this list. Are there some things on here that hit home? They did for me too. Don’t wait til the end to deal with them. We only get one chance at this lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, this life is not about bigger, better, faster. It’s about who you become during the journey. Be true to yourself, don’t work so hard, express your feelings, enjoy friendships, and as often as possible, choose happiness.

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Personal Philosophy For Living

A personal philosophy for living is essential to living a great life. Numb is not a philosophy. Getting by isn’t either. It’s not about what you have – but what you do with what you have. If you don’t have a personal philosophy, you should. Here are eleven thoughts to get you started.

1) Read something (positive) 20 minutes a day. Exercise your brain. It builds character and enriches your soul.

2) Write (journal or blog) for 20 minutes a day. It’s the one thing in life that you are guaranteed to be perfect at. There no rules. Just write. Get your ideas about life out of your brain and onto paper. The healing attributes of journaling are amazing.

3) Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. Move! Do something. Walk. Stretch. Do sit-ups. Getting the blood moving improves overall health and brain function. And it improves your attitude too.

4) Make healthy food choices. It’s not that hard. Minimize starch, sugar, and salt. All three in excess are the cause for most of our health related issues.

5) Keep an attitude of gratitude. There is always, always something to be thankful for. Look around. Your life ain’t that bad. And when you figure that out, share the love.

6) Eliminate the negative mental garbage. Turn off the news channels, and turn off the radio talk shows. Negativity sells. Don’t believe it? Count the number of commercials.

7) Do what you love, or love what you do. If you don’t love it, change your attitude or change your job. Stress leads to illness and bad coping habits. If eight hours of your day are filled with stress, you can bet the other 16 will be negatively effected as well.

8) Find a creative outlet for expression. Paint, write, draw, build, carve, sew. Don’t have time? Make the time. It’s a great stress reliever.

9) Make plenty time for family and faith. Nothing is more important. At the end of life, those will be the only things left to comfort you.

10) Be present. Live each day from start to finish as if it were your first and your last. Regretting backwards and projecting forwards robs you of the present moment. And that’s where life really exists.

11) Never be happy with status quo. Your life is a gift given to you, and a gift to be offered back to those around you. Be an inspiration. Be a role model. Be a mentor. Be authentic.

Try that for 30 days and see how things change!

Your Coach, Greg Tutwiler

Mastery Of Life

Most people strive daily to perform on some level. And we measure our success by the profit of that striving in the form of a paycheck, a sales quota, or some other form of increase. But that’s not really the measure of success in life. Those  are the fruits or byproducts of the time we’ve traded for them. Life is really not about what we do, but who we become in the process. Our Western culture suggests that bigger is better, and more is prestigious. But author George Leonard suggests, “We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives.”

So then, life is more about personal growth than personal accumulation. Really; how much are you going to get to take with you when you leave this world? All of the spoils of this earth go to someone else when we pass on. I’m not suggesting that we give up trying, become lazy, or become socially dependent. But let’s evaluate priorities and begin understanding what’s really important. Where we invest our time makes all the difference. Inspirational philosopher Jim Rohn once said, “We must all suffer one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weight tons.” All we have is today. Period. Really, all we have is this moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not arrived. We can attempt to arrange the activities of the future, but nothing disrupts that faster than the arrival of the unpredictable. Are your day’s chosen activities as important as you think?

No regrets either. Mastery of life is simply, when we know better we do better. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” For me, that is the real definition of success. One day at a time, one moment at a time, savoring each second of this journey as the blessing it truly is.