From an early age, we get programmed to fit into the norms of society. We are told that to be a respectable and valuable citizen, we should have a certain profession or title, achieve good results, work hard, and so on. At the same time to do this, we need to let go of more and more of our own values and a lot of times basic human needs.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative care worker, collected dying epiphanies for several years. Resulting in a book called The Top Five Regrets of Dying.
The most common regret people had during their final days was:
“I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
The second most common regret was:
“I wish I had not worked so hard.”
Since we are herd animals and generally quite easy to influence, most people might not come to these conclusions until it is extremely late. But as always there are exceptions, people who see things from a different angle.
John Lennon was one of them:
“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Just a gentle reminder that in the end, it is only YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE that counts.