These are the top 5 most common regrets of those dying. Let’s hope none of us will ever have any of the following 5 regrets on our deathbed:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Source: Inspiration and Chai
The one that struck me the most is:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
#1 is particularly poignant for me, because as someone who’s a minimalist, I get a lot of negativity from both sides.
Some minimalists don’t see eye-to-eye with me and say:
- This must be some form of American minimalism, because you have more in your kitchen than I have in my house.*
- And I thought I carried a lot of stuff, you have way more than me.
- You aren’t really a minimalist. Look at all your stuff!
*Note, I am Canadian not American. 😉
But those who are NOT minimalists, say:
- You’re all living like a bunch of homeless, poor students on the floor. What kind of life is that?
- I don’t get it, it looks like you’re just following a bunch of nonsense. Minimalism is just a fad.
- It doesn’t look like you’re enjoying yourself, it looks like hellish deprivation. What’s the point?
- Are you poor? Because it looks like you just can’t afford anything like even a house or furniture.**
**No, I’m not poor, but thanks for your concern.
In either case I recognize those people are being elitist in their own way, and after reading those comments or emails, I am told I should feel bad for either having too much, or not having enough stuff.
I really don’t give a damn.
I’m living my life, the way I want it even if no one else understands it, or thinks it’s a fad they’ve lost interest in because they can’t sustain their idealistic lifestyle.
I’ve been doing this since 2006/2007. I am not going to stop now, I actually want to live like this.
It’s a choice I’ve made, and the lifestyle I’ve chosen.
Right now, I have the courage to life a life true to myself and what I think is best for now, and I’m not entirely sure those people can say the same about their lives.
I’m doing what I want to do, not what is expected of me, and you should do the same for yourself.
- If you DON’T want to quit your job and travel the world, then don’t.
- If you DON’T want to give up your TV or your couch, then don’t. TV isn’t evil.
- If you DON’T want to buy a house, settle down and buy lots of stuff you don’t use, then don’t.
- If you DO want to do all of the above, then do it.
Isn’t that simple?
It is far worse to me, to not have a choice or a say in how you want to live, than to follow some random, prescribed guidelines set out by people (sometimes random and faceless) who aren’t living your life.
Make yourself happy and be happy with your choices, and forget about what others think of you.
Just don’t have any of those regrets on your deathbed.