In the last month or so I have repeatedly seen a list of the 5 most common regrets a hospice nurse has heard people express at the end of their lives. It’s worth noting that there were two regrets absence from the list “I wish I made more money” and “I wish I spent more time at work”.
Paul Graham smartly turn this into a short list of commands which he keeps at the top of the todo list. It’s rare that I feel I can improve any article Paul has posted, but this time I would suggest a more active and expansive version of Paul’s commands would be appropriate.
|Top Regrets||Paul’s Commands||My Commands||Reasoning|
|I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.||Don’t ignore your dreams||pursue your calling||because your calling often goes beyond what you can dream|
|I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.||don’t work too much||practice sabbath||because not working is not the same as resting|
|I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.||say what you think||speak the truth in love||because we want our words to be heard and effective|
|I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.||cultivate friendships||cultivate friendships, but be receptive to all people||because people are more important than things and people can surprise you (in a good way)|
|I wish that I had let myself be happier.||be happy||embrace joy and gratitude||which can occur even if circumstances are hard, and we aren’t “happy”|
All of these commands feeds into the most important command: grow in love
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”Matthew 22:36-39
And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”