If you left this world tomorrow, would you seriously care how much time you spent staring at your smartphone, working, earning money or other trivia?
No, I don’t think so.
Table Of Contents
Regret Is Scary.
Perspective is very important.
I think because I’m an occupational therapist that started off on the grounds of clinical practice, I gained a lot of perspective and life experience working in hospitals with sickly and oftentimes dying people.
I also worked for some time in dementia as well as non-dementia nursing homes for an extended period of time.
These are the top five regrets of the dying (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Top_Five_Regrets_of_the_Dying)
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked 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.
Reading and re-reading that still brings me goosebumps.
These are not just words of a couple of people…but whole number of people who lay on their beds and in the end of their lives, tired and no energy left to change their lives or their world.
A research later states this:
These “ideal-related regrets” — like settling for a stable career instead of following a passion, marrying a “safe” partner instead of pursuing a truly special love interest, never opening a business or traveling around the world — were more painful than regrets about not living up to responsibilities.
I recommend everyone I know and everyone who reads this site to volunteer in a nursing home, spending time and speaking to 80- and 90-year olds, and hearing their life stories.
Look, when we’re sick, old, tired – we don’t have the energy to build the kind of businesses, lives, incomes – whatever we want.
And that’s why I started off the home page that way.
Looking and seeing regret in an older, sickly and dying person’s eyes is…scary.
That’s why I share to remind us all to Pursue Happiness & What Matters Most.
We only have one life.
I’m not saying YOLO and don’t work and party and play only – that’s not what I’m saying.
I’m saying that we cannot afford to waste our lives and time mindlessly or chasing after things that are just distractions or things that we don’t really care about, but do “because everyone does it” or that we’re too scared to do what we truly want or are called to do.
That’s not a good idea at all, because…
Time Is Finite
We have limited time and energy on earth.
Time is ticking every single moment, whether we like it or not.
Let’s run basic numbers:
- assuming we live up to “good” 80 years of age with good health throughout
- we “finish” childhood and education at around 20-23 years old (80-23 = balance 57 years from 23 years old to 80 years old)
- 57 years = 57 birthdays / New Year / Christmas
- 57 years in weeks = 57 years x 52 weeks = 2964 weeks
- if we break it down and minus out per week of 7 x 24 hours (total hours in a week = 168 hours)
- 7 days x 8 hours sleeping = 56 hours
- 7 days x 2 hours commuting = 14 hours
- 5.5 days x 10 hours working = 55 hours
- 7 days x 3 hours eating / socializing = 21 hours
- 7 days x 2 hours toileting / showering / dressing / changing = 14 hours
- That translates to having “excess” or balance 168 hours minus 56-14-55-21-14 = 8 hours a week left
- We “only” have 2964 weeks and 8 hours a week
Think about it.
I hadn’t added times when one or one’s family/friends/colleague is sick or needs our time or help.
Time is truly very finite, and that’s why we really need to spend time on what truly matters.
Doing what makes us happier or not.
Time flies by so quickly, plus our lives are so frail and fragile. Time can just leak away or we can be hit with a terrible problem, and when shit happens suddenly and we realize we’re out of time, that’s when we’re screwed.
And I DO NOT want that to happen to myself, to you, my loved ones, my friends, even my enemies.
Read “The Tail End” here which breaks down into a lot more details: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html
Progress And Not Waste Time
We need to build our lives based on what matters most to us, on a consistent basis, and as early as possible.
That’s why I speak with such passion and compassion for this since 2008:
Life is short but is long enough if we pursue things that are meaning; building our lives around things that truly matters most to us.
Look, I’m not going to say that I know all your purposes and desires – I really don’t.
I know my own goals and purposes, and I’m working towards that, and documenting here as much as I can
Everyone is different, and that’s why everyone’s journeys, adventures, locations and situations or challenges are different; hence everyone naturally will have different goals and stuff that makes them happy.
- Some, it may include entrepreneurship or side hustles.
- Some, it’s taking a company public.
- Some, it may be about earning $47,000 a year as an employee and be able to go to their kids school events every weekend.
- Some, it may be about decreasing expenses and simplifying, and stop keeping up with comparison and the Joneses.
- Some, it could be about retiring early.
- Some others never want to retire.
- Some, it could be about finding meaning and purpose.
- Some want to have one or have more kids. Some want to adopt.
- Some may want to adopt or donate to causes and homes.
- Some, it could be about making a lot of money.
- Some, it could be forgiving themselves or others.
- Some it could be telling someone they love them.
- Some it could be that they want to move country.
I don’t know what’s your calling or purpose – what I can do is to document what I’m doing to increase happiness and focus on what matters most to me. I hope that this too will help guide you to stop being distracted with busy work, bring about clarity and to muster up the courage to find out and decide for yourself.
Goal: Pursuing Happiness & What Matters Most
The overall goal here at nigelchua is to advocate and share on Pursuing Happiness and What Matters Most, and to influence as many individual as possible to build happier lives based on what matters most to them
Generally these two factors influence each other – doing what matters most will usually lead us to more meaning, purpose and happiness; and in turn we will do more of what matters most.
Conversely NOT doing what matters most will lead to feelings of
- increasing unhappiness and frustration
- and more
Three (3) Objective And Key Results / Focus
As the overall goal is Happiness & What Matters Most, there are three objective and key results, which are:
- knowing what’s important and most important to YOU
- accepting or refining this list and knowing What Matters Most and what doesn’t fall into this core group
- build / building ie making conscious decisions and take specific actions consistently to bring about and maintain the kind of life that you want
Where To Next?
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- Visit the Blog to read the latest articles and videos. You can see all / my entire list of previous articles here: Archive
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