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Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying: Life Lessons Everybody Learns Too Late with Bronnie Ware

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  September 13, 2023

What do you think you might be saying on your deathbed? Will you be looking back at your life with a sense of joy and completeness, or, do you think that perhaps you might be consumed with regret? As this week’s guest shares, “It’s easy to assume that you will live with great health to a ripe old age, then die peacefully in your sleep wearing your favourite pyjamas but it doesn’t work out that way for most people…”

Bronnie Ware is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author of the bestselling memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Published more than 10 years ago, it’s been translated into 32 languages and continues to attract new audiences. The book is about her eight years as an end-of-life carer, the close relationships she formed, and lessons she learned from those dying people, which changed her life forever.

In this conversation, we discuss some of the various regrets of the dying and what they can teach us so that we can live better lives, right now. We talk about the concept of choice.

Everything we do, or don’t do, has a price – be it time or money. Our culture incentivises what we can measure – salaries, possessions, status, social media ‘likes’ and comments. But Bronnie urges us to realise the sacredness and value of our time.

Is something a choice worth making if it means you have to sacrifice time with your loved ones? Is it worth pushing extra hard for the promotion that may bring you more money but also more stress and more time away from home? These are decisions that I think we all need to wrestle with from time to time if we are truly going to be living a contented and intentional life.

We also talk about the real meaning of regret, what it means to be courageous, and how self-compassion can help us see our mistakes as a natural part of life and growth. Importantly, Bronnie also defines the qualities and habits she observed in those patients who reached the end of life with no regrets – what can we learn from these people?

Death can be a topic that many people shy away from discussing but Bronnie is a wonderful soul who is able to talk about death in a relatable, powerful and authentic way. Appreciating we are going to die is the first step to getting more out of life.

This really was a thought-provoking and intimate conversation. I hope you enjoy listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

Find out more about Bronnie:

Website     Instagram     

YouTube     Facebook     

Bronnie’s book:

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

Your Year For Change: 52 Reflections For Regret-Free Living

Bloom: A Tale of Courage, Surrender, and Breaking Through Upper Limits

Related Feel Better Live More Episodes:

#138 The Healing Power of Compassion with Dr Julian Abel

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP