is the author of the international bestseller ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’. During eight years she has been taking care of people who were terminally ill.
What were the most common regrets people shared with you, when you cared for them?
Bronnie Ware: The most common was people wishing they had found the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them. The next most common was wishing they had not worked so hard.
How can we prevent regrets in our lives?
Bronnie Ware: By facing the fact that we are going to die, so our time here is limited. When you truly absorb this fact and you realize how precious time is, it is easier to find the courage to answer the call of your heart rather than worry about what other people think of you.
How can we deal with regrets we already have?
Bronnie Ware: By looking back on who we were that created those regrets, from who we are now, with compassion. Kindness for who we once were helps us to be more gentle with ourselves, rather than judge ourselves harshly in regret. We are all perfect. None of us get it all right. But that growth is a part of the human experience of loving and learning.
How did your personal life change due to the experience you made when caring for dying people?
Bronnie Ware: Being with the dying taught me how to live. I faced my own death. I lost concern for how others perceived me. Just knowing that my heart was kind and in the right place, I was then able to give myself permission to take my life in the directions my heart guides. The dying helped me find my courage.
What do you ask from your life after the experiences you made?
Bronnie Ware: I always try to find the courage to be my best self, to accept the roles that life asks of me, and to inspire others to do the same.