Posted by: hspsblog | June 21, 2012

Regrets….What can we do about them?

Regrets are a topic that many of us spend quite a bit of time thinking and worrying about and sometimes these regrets are taken with us on our life journey and many of us still have them with us at the ‘end of the road’.

It’s so important that we live everyday doing the things that will make us proud to look back in the years to come. It is easy to be connected to electronics and media and disconnected from those around us. Quality time with family and friends and life in reality is so vital to our happiness and feelings of connection with others. How we might regret not spending enough time with our spouses,children and friends?

I was very moved by a Dr. Robert Brooks’ recent newsletters on understanding and trying to resolve our regrets and wanted to share this great resource with you. I’m hoping to have another post focusing on his second newsletter on Regrets and Optimism in the future.

Dr. Brooks posted an introductory newsletter describing the 5 most common regrets at end of life and then a followup newsletter on optimism and regrets. Both of these newsletters were full of great information and resources.

Dr. Brooks referenced an article written by Susie Steiner that appeared in The Guardian earlier this year:

The article is based on the recordings of Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who devoted several years working in palliative care with patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She wrote a blog “Inspiration and Chai” based on the reflections of these patients, which she then compiled in a book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Here are the Top Five Regrets from Bronnie Ware’s work, taken from the Newsletter:

  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.

Please continue on to Dr. Brooks Site to read the newsletters in their entirety. Also the main link to Dr. Brooks’ Site is on the side bar of the main page of this Blog.

Here is a link to the first newsletter on Regrets:<Link>
Here is a link to the second newsletter on Regrets and Optimism:<Link>

While you are on his Site, you might be interested in subscribing to his monthly newsletter.

Here is a thought to ponder from the conclusion of Dr. Brooks’ newsletter, that will conclude today’s post:

She asks what, if any, regrets you have about the life you have led. How would you respond?

Hmmm…..I need to think about that…how about you?



  1. I try to catch regrets as they arise and do something about them. If I regret that I never lived in Europe, for instance, I try to distill it down to something workable. Sure, I can’t pick up and move to England right now. But I can go experience a new area of my city, which feels like traveling and becoming intimate with a new area of geography. Sometimes in our regrets there is a kernel of something that is incredibly attainable: I wish I had let myself be happier, well, yes, but if I am happy and grateful for my joy right now then there is no time or room for regrets because only one feeling can happen at a time πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks Jennifer for your comments. Your insights are very interesting and resourceful.

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