It is interesting, isn't it that even though we all know that at some stage in life we are going to die, it is something that we don't like to think about and to some people it is even something that they think doesn't happen to them only to other people. That sounds stupid doesn't it but it does happen.
As it says in the article, knowing that one day that you will be dead can be incredibly motivating and it helps you get stuck into things that you may have put off until another day or even worse, not do it at all.
Lets have a look:
1. I wish I lived life on my terms and not did what society expected.
If you are a regular reader here you will know that I am a big believer in not doing what society expects. Most of us seem to get caught up in doing things that society expects and not doing what we want to do. Earlier this year I celebrated my birthday be walking around the Yamanote Line in Tokyo.
For those of you who don't know what the Yamanote Line is, it is the train line that runs around the centre of Tokyo. It is about 40 kilometres around. I always wanted to do it and so I did. Of course some people have laughed at me but that is because society expects you to have a party or something like that, not walk by yourself for 8 hours.
The secret here is to do what you want and not worry about what other people are thinking or what other people might say. All they are doing is pushing their reality on you because they can't even comprehend what you are doing.
2. I shouldn't have worked so hard all of the time.
This is an interesting one especially since I live in one of the workaholic capitals of the world. (Although I think that there is a difference between WORKING 18 hours a day and SPENDING 18 hours at work. There is a huge difference. Think about it.)
I talk to a lot of Japanese men about this. This is how I see it:
The Japanese father seems to get a lot of grief from his family. Probably because he is hardly ever there at home as he is at work either putting in (unpaid) overtime or he is out with his colleagues imbibing in a few ales and other things.
I wonder though if families are happy that their father isn't at home because he is bringing home the bacon or they resent the fact that he isn't there. Sometimes I think the father is thinking that because he is hard at work bringing home that bacon then his family is happy but I believe that they want him at home and actually resent the fact that he is giving 99.9% of his energy to his company. As children and wives get older they get used to not seeing their father so that when he is around he gets grief.
I'm sure when he is on his death bed he is not thinking about those long nights at work or his colleagues but his family who he hardly knows. It's sad. Regret, I'm sure that all it will be.
3. I wish I had said what I was really thinking more often.
This is an interesting one for me because I try to avoid conflict like I say most people do but sometimes you just have to say it because some idiot might be annoying the heck out of you or saying something that you can't let go but you will because you don't want to have an argument or have someone think that you are an asshole but at the end of the day are they going to be in your life much after that encounter. Probably not.
4. I wish I chose to be happier.
As it says in the article, it is a choice to be happy. If something happens to you, you can choose to be happy about it or annoyed about it. You choose.
The other day, I was at a convenience store using the copy machine. One guy who was obviously in a hurry literally pushed me out of the way to get to the ticket machine which was in the corner. For a few seconds I was fuming. I was like a smouldering volcano that was ready to explode at any second. Fortunately I remembered something that I saw on Instagram.
"You have $86,400 in your bank account and someone stole $10 from you, would you be upset and throw all of the $86,390 away in hopes of getting back at the person that took your $10? Or move on and live? Right, move on and live. See, we have 86,400 seconds in very day so don't let someone's negative 10 seconds ruin the rest of the 86,390. Don't sweat the small stuff, life is bigger than that."
Yep! It is just someone having a bad day so don't let them ruin it for you. Choose to be happy.
While I was writing this post I thought of that famous Latin quote and for my generation anyway, made famous in the movie Dead Poet's Society. Carpe Diem. Seize the Day.
Seize everyday and there will be no regrets on your death bed, there will be only be happy memories.