I was watching a random video and this guy ended by saying 'Your tests are your testimonials'.
It grabbed me because I realised that this is true.
Every test, challenge or failure has in it the seed of greater opportunity.
At the very least we have the opportunity to share our experience with others in the hope that they can learn from our experiences.
Also it is only in the crucible of experience that we invariably generate some sort of value i.e. in the act of being tested, how we reacted to the test, what happened next and even how we came through the test with results, whether good or bad, is often valuable to others facing a similar test.
Rather than shying away from difficult situations, which we know that we must face in life, why not embrace them because they are the tests that will ultimately be the testimonials that we can use in our life and business to help others and thereby ourselves?
The 5 Regrets That Dying People Have
Shortly afterwards I read that an article about the 5 regrets that dying people have. These were compiled by a nurse in palliative care and were reported in the Huffington Post. They are:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I like to think that I attempted that when I left the corporate world in 2001. However, I've not achieved the lifestyle that I originally intended when I left my job - perhaps I didn't want what I thought I wanted badly enough to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve them?
Every thing is a balance and there is always a price to pay in advance for what we want. That price tests whether or not we really want it badly enough.
Nevertheless, I don't worry too much about other people's expectations any longer! My own expectations of myself are a a big enough burden for me to bear.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
Yes - I can identify with this. I might even add in to the end 'for so little!'
I find that the most valuable things in life like:
- enjoying nature
- enoying your family
- peace of mind
- doing the things that you really like doing like listening to music, creating or appreciating art, gardening etc
- talking with friends
- Are all essentially free or low cost and are far more valuable than 'money' or personal possessions. It is very easy for 'life' and happiness to pass you by whilst you are in pursuit of some future dream.
- Enjoying the journey is critically important because the dreamed of future may never arrive.
- If you don't enjoy your job or your work then make the commitment to change or you will ultimately regret it because you are exchanging your life for money and ask yourself if the often pitiful price is worth it?
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
This is a interesting one. This is probably the cause of a lot of stress, anxiety and depression. We are taught at an early age to hide our feelings for fear that other people will exploit our weakness or make fun of us.
One of the things I do believe in doing is telling my closest family how much I love them - I always end my conversation with my children and grandchildren in this way to express how much they mean to me before I once more release them back into the world.
You will never know whether you will have an opportunity to tell them again so I like to keep telling them! They are probably tired of me telling them this - I don't know but I hope that they too will feel able to do the same for the people that they love in their life.
I do believe that 'love' is the what makes the world go around and there can't be too much of it in a world that has so much conflict and hatred.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
This is where I fail really badly. I really don't have many friends because I prefer to work alone and live a peaceful life with my family. I have never been gregarious and have been disappointed by previous friendships.
I'm a bit like someone who is scared to commit to love again because I've been hurt so often before!
For this reason, it takes a lot for me to trust others enough to admit them into my circle of friends and as a consequence I put little or no effort in maintaining friendships.
I read somewhere that having lots of friends will extend your life. My daughter is the polar opposite to me in this aspect - she has a wide circle of friends and expends a lot of time in socialising and partying with them.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
On the whole, I am pretty happy. I do not worry or get depressed and I never feel like I don't want to get up to greet the day.
They key to happiness is to be grateful for what you have. Also, I believe that something will always come along to sort things out so I am rarely worried or anxious about the future.
The mind can play tricks on you and I found 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle is an incredibly helpful book that explains how the mind works and that happiness is easy to achieve if you can just live your life in the present moment because invariably the present moment is OK.
If you are worried, anxious or depressed then I can heartily recomend that you follow the teachings of Eckhart Tolle.
The above 5 regrets of the dying are the major tests that are your testimonials to a life well-lived - how do YOU measure up?