Top 5 regrets of the Dying
Play • 42 min

With a title like that there is a danger that this post could be viewed as quite morbid, but please read on, the aim of this is to inspire and provoke some thoughts rather than depress.

For those familiar with the ‘Top 5 regrets of the dying’ hopefully this will be a useful reminder, for those unfamiliar with them, please allow me to introduce you to them.

Bronnie Ware spent many years as a palliative care nurse and in 2009 she wrote an article called Regrets of the Dying. Bronnie grew close to those that she cared for and had honest discussions with them about life, death and regret. She documented these regrets as a way of highlighting that when we are faced with our own mortality and we are reflecting on our lives, looking back rather than forward, there are many things that we wish we could have told our younger selves. 

You can learn more about the book that followed here.

In summary the top 5 regrets are listed below;

  1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
  3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I am going to discuss each of these regrets in the context of family business, drawing on my own experience as a human being, but also as a family business adviser and what we can learn from the regrets of others in the hope that we can avoid these in our own lives.

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