Bronnie Ware, a former hospice nurse, made this case for me very profoundly in her 2012 book, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. After many years of tending to people in their last days and months of life, the regret she heard most often was: ” I wish I’d had the courage to lead a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
And so, despite the fact that I have done what I love and what mattered to me for most of my life, I find myself taking the opportunity to scrutinize my journey yet one more time. I’m asking:
“What’s missing in my life for me to be able to say at the end: ‘I really gave it my all?'”
“Is there anything on my bucket list I’m not giving myself permission to do…that I’ll really regret?”
“Are there ways I see that my gifts are needed today and I find myself holding back?”
In my view, it’s never too late to insist on identifying and doing what is yours to do. In fact it is a surefire way to be true to yourself.
Take the time, get the support, unlock the courage, and bite that bullet.
Let the awareness of your mortality give you that gift of impetus.