If 2020 has done anything, it’s been to give us plenty of time to consider what really matters in life.
With dwindling social lives and work routines turned upside down, for most of us, our appreciation of simple freedoms and pleasures has grown. And somewhere in all this downtime, many of us have found ourselves reflecting on our lives and even our purpose.
So if you’re among this group contemplating what really matters in life, this article is for you.
So what really matters in life?
Well, I’m sorry to say there is no magic answer. Because what matters in life is completely personal and it usually requires some self-discovery to figure it out.
But a good starting point is perhaps to consider the regrets of the dying.
In Bronnie Ware‘s book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, she reflects on her time working in palliative care and identifies these main regrets:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
At some point, we can all relate to this. After all, standing out from the crowd, be it our family, friends or colleagues, can be unsettling or even terrifying.
But hopefully at some point (preferably before our deathbed) we realise that how we feel about ourselves is the most important thing. More than other peoples expectations, opinions, or than following the status quo.
And hopefully, we find the courage to live our life, pursuing our interests, curiosity and dreams, knowing it takes constant courage to swim against the tide.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
After all, what are we working for? The next paycheque? The next promotion? Or maybe the next pay rise?
Now I know, work can be deeply fulfilling and provide a sense of satisfaction and achievement but it should never be the only thing.
Make time for the other things that matter in your life. Because anyone with some level of success can attest that despite progression, they are rarely satisfied for long. This is the hedonic treadmill, where our level of happiness adjusts over time, leaving us constantly searching for the ‘next thing’.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
Whether it’s unrequited love or unspoken anger, unmanaged emotions lead to bitterness and resentment.
Learning to process our emotions gives us freedom and control. And our feelings and emotions are driven solely by our own thoughts and are therefore within our control if we choose to manage them.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
It’s easy to get caught up being busy but maintaining friendships or connection with those that you genuinely care about is important. Because ultimately, it is relationships, not things or achievements that matter most in life.
So, foster relationship wisely. Find your people and cherish them.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
It is easy to get caught up in achievements and result and forget to simply be happy. It sounds silly but happiness requires cultivation and intention and is something you choose to be.
So don’t wait for the next ‘thing’ to make you happy. Create your own joy and find delight and pleasure in the simple things.
If you are ready to get clarity on what really matters in your life and start creating realign and more happiness, it’s time to join the Joyful Aligned Life Program.
Applications close on Tuesday 15th September 2020 9pm so don’t wait!