Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Get Unstuck and Start Living a Life You Love

As a Job Coach working government contracts, I was responsible for coaching some of the most “stuck” people you could imagine. Stuck in negative thinking patterns, stuck in victim mentality, stuck in their lot in life. In my experience, the quickest way to help people to become unstuck is to start talking about death. The aknowledgement that one day, which could be sooner rather than later, everyone dies and nobody gets out of life alive, seems to be the turning point for many people who desperately need elements of their life to be different. When people are acutely aware of their own expiration, they also become aware of their dreams of a life they wanted for themselves but let go of along the way. While most of us have heard the term “bucket list”, I often wonder how many of us have actually taken the time to contemplate and write a list of goals that we will accomplish before we die. I bet the number is quite small, and I can bet that fewer still have started checking off the goals on their lists. Is the reason we fail to set lofty life goals due to the fact that we are truly content with the legacy that is our life? I think not. 
Bronnie Ware, an Austrailian palliative care nurse discovered the top five regrets of the dying while working closely with patients in their last 12 weeks of life. Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. 

The top 5 regrets of her dying patients are as follows:

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

   Now, which of the top 5 regrets struck a nerve for you? was it one, or all of the regrets that you can relate to? You may be feeling a little down thinking about this delicate subject matter, but I've got great news; you are still alive! You can still accomplish your bucket list, contact old friends or work less. So take a moment to think about your death every day. Ask yourself; if I died tomorrow, what would I regret? How would I want to spend the last days/ months/ years of my precious time on earth? And then start doing those things. You always had, and always will have the authority to create whatever kind of life you want while you are still here. What a vibrant and freeing thought that you could live a life you love, enabling you to die without regrets. There's still time to make changes, so get out there and live!

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