End of Life

What We Do With Our Lives: It’s All a Matter of Choice

Let’s start with some figures: 85% of the world’s workers are unhappy at work. To say that they are also unhappy in their lives is an understatement, since they spend most of it working.

Barely 5% are committed to their employer. Nearly 20% are actively disengaged, not to say toxic, since a negative attitude can quickly spread within an organization, especially if the environment is conducive to it. Let’s get back to the point. I said 85%. Maybe you are one of them.

If this is the case, you have two options. Either you go on your way and you will join the countless people who will regret one day not having done what they would have liked to do, or you decide to change.

It’s all about choice. And a question that one must ask oneself sooner or later (preferably early and, if possible, regularly): am I happy in what I am doing? And if not, what should I do to be happy?

You will tell me that it is not easy to change. I never said it was. But you will ALWAYS find excuses not to move. “It’s risky”, “I’m lucky to have a salary”, “I have a mortgage”, “I don’t know if it’s worth it”, or even worse, “I don’t know if I’ll succeed”. These are the kinds of excuses that have made the fortune of coaches (and therapists). We KNOW we’re unhappy, we KNOW we can do something about it, but we DON’T WANT to get out of our cozy little comfort zone and try. So you keep doing what you’ve always done, even if it means taking the risk of approaching retirement age and discovering that maybe it wasn’t all that risky and bitterly regretting not having made the decision to slam the office door and following your dream.

As for me, I had the choice between continuing to work in a world in which I was not fulfilled, and which was beginning to make me nauseous, or doing something else that corresponded more to my aspirations and my values. For those who know me, I chose the second option. Even though I often had a hard time with it, I never regretted my decision. Simply because I didn’t want to end my life regretting not having taken this chance.

A palliative care nurse collected testimonies from patients at the end of their lives. The result is an edifying book. 5 regrets compete for the top spot. I’m not making this up.

1. “I wish I had had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life that others expected of me”.

In other words, if you live someone else’s life, you will bitterly regret it at some point. So be yourself and choose to live your dreams. Need any help? Imagine you are walking on a beach and you find a lamp and the genie of the lamp tells you: you will succeed in whatever you do. What would you do? I bet you would do something else… We may not regret some of the things we did, like robbing a bank, but we will always regret not doing the things we would have liked to do.

2. “I regret working so hard”.

This is what all the male patients told her. They all deeply regretted that they had spent so much of their working lives without it bringing them joy.

3. “I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

Many of them gave up expressing their feelings in order to remain at peace with others. As a result, they were content to live an ordinary existence and never became the person they could have become.

4. “I regret not staying in touch with my friends”.

Most were so caught up in their own lives that they let their friendships take a back seat. Many deeply regret not giving them the time they deserved.

5. I regret not allowing myself to be happier.

This regret speaks for itself.

Simply put, be yourself, do what you love and have fun. It’s infinitely better than ending your life bitter and consumed by regret.