What entrepreneurs can learn from the regrets of the dying

There is something very interesting for entrepreneurs to learn from Ms. Bronnie Ware, a woman who worked for years with the dying and wrote a list of the top 5 regrets people say aloud on their deathbed.


1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Go chase your dreams!

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
How about working smartly and still having time for family.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Most of us are entrapped with this regret to some extent. Whatever you do but just don’t settle for mediocre existence.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Build relationships. Both for professional and personal well being. Most successful and happy people live on strong relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
As most entrepreneur will say – Enjoy the journey. It is really up to you.

I guess the leanings are for everyone. The lesser regrets you have in your life, the more enjoyable it is.

13 thoughts on “What entrepreneurs can learn from the regrets of the dying

  1. Nice post Hemant. These are basics and everyone should practice the same for good. Being content is the key in life. Sometime we tend to lose ourselves while chasing our dreams.

  2. I am actually battling with the first two points. I want to become a fulfilled serial entrepreneur yet work smartly and be there for my family as well. I will fail doing anything else on this earth, it shouldn’t be any of these. Thanks for this brief yet very ‘loaded’ article

  3. Hemant, life’s full of contradictions. There could be someone who would feel altogether differently:-

    1. I wish I had worked hard enough to save money for my family. Now that I am dying who will look after them?
    2. I wish I had listened to my parents when they wanted me to study hard and get that job. Now that everything is over I really regret having not listened to them.
    3. I wish I had not listened to my friends, Now that I’m dying its clear that the crowd is with you only when you are in the limelight., now that there is this dim light I cannot see anyone around.
    4. Why did I express my feelings of love to this woman who was anyway going to reject me (hah)..
    5. After all I was supposed to be happy the way I lived? Why am I dying sad now?

    Crazy I suppose? On the entrepreneurship front..The grass is always green on the other side., unless you are ready to tread on the brown grass once you step on it..

    Nothing positive nor negative here, probably its how you see it after having experienced it.

    • RK,

      Although I agree with what you’ve said, I leave you with this to think about –

      Most of the regrets in life aren’t about the things we’ve done, rather about the things we could not do – either because of fear, doubt, cowardice or just being lazy.

      So, go ahead, take risks, fall a few times, but make sure you get back up and continue running – that’s all that life’s about.

  4. How about…….”I regret not changing my physician when he told me I was fine…”?

    Apparently Spike Milligan has on his headstone, “I told you I was ill”

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