Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

I saw this tweet by @SciencePorn today:
According to a study, these are the top 5 regrets of the dying(Just before death) pic.twitter.com/MsyIlCbyOE


I have been thinking about these 5 top regrets this morning. I am not sure if these are the answers I will give in my death bed. I can agree with "I wish I hadn't worked so hard." I am trying not to work as hard these days and I understand that every employee is dispensable. The company won't die because you didn't logon to your emails at night.

But I am not sure of the "I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself" -  what is a life true to myself? If there were no restrictions and no one expects anything of me, what is the life I will live? Stay at home and play PC games all day? That is not exactly what I wanted. I had being single for a big part of my adulthood, so I do have all the time and I while it away on PC games, comics, novels, drinking teh tarik with friends talking nonsense, watching TV series or movies and wasting more time at work doing mundane stuff. At that time, with no family commitment, I didn't know what was a life true to myself. How can I know in the next 30-40 years of my life? Now that I have a family, is it a life focus on the kids? If that is, is that true to myself? Is that living a life of what others expects of me?

What would you do if you don't need to be an actor in this world, acting a life not your own? Can anyone answer this honestly?

On "I wish I had the courage to express my feelings" - what about this? I have nothing to hide in terms of feelings to my wife and kids. Maybe the "express feelings" part would be to express to my parents. I think I didn't say "I love you" a lot but I also think it is not our Malaysian/Asian culture to do the same. I spend a lot of time at home, every Sunday visiting my parents with the kids. Is there still a need to express myself more? How would this be a regret?

"I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends" - ok, I can understand and appreciate this. I blogged about it here. Seriously, with convenience of technology these days, this should not ever be a regret. 

"I wish I had let myself be happier" - but what is happiness? Does anyone really know? Is it buying more things? More keyboards, more PC games, more Apple products? Those are temporary happiness; they are not lasting. Those are  what Buddhists called 'treasures of the storehouse' - materials stuff. Happiness is about accumulating 'treasures of the heart' but how many people understand this? I am still trying to comprehend this myself. So, how do you let yourself be happier? Let yourself - as though you are actively not letting yourself. Perhaps this is linked to 'living a live others expected of me'. Buddhism is about appreciating the dignity of life. Appreciating and respecting each living being as though they are the most precious thing ever. That, in turn, would accumulate a unshakeable life state within yourself and ultimately you will find happiness within you.

If you really want to know how to achieve happiness in this world, then I would recommend you listen to this study material by SGI USA Study Chief, Mr Greg Martin. I listen to this when I am down and get a huge encouragement every single time. It's a 50 minutes mp3 that I played in the car when stuck in jam and have gained a lot of encouragement and tips to find happiness, today! now!, in this world, not in the next life, not after you die. Download here: Happiness In This World.

Let's learn together!


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