“Build a business and live a life of no regrets” has become a mantra of mine.
But as often is the case, when we say something too frequently the impact of those words can start to soften. It can start to lose its meaning.
So I bring myself back to the big question if I went under a bus tomorrow, would I die with any regrets?
Now those words always have an impact when I say them! I know that sentence can be a little jarring, but I don’t say it lightly. I constantly ask that question of myself and the people around me, as I think it is one of the more, if not the most critical question you can ask.
Life is busy and full of distraction. We rush around, sometimes barely looking up from our phones. But the question of mortality is the one that always snaps us back into the present moment and reminds us to think about why we are even here.
Two years ago, when I was prepping for an expedition up Mount Everest, I had to ask myself these questions. Yes, there are risks in life every day. Crossing the road, getting into a vehicle, the list goes on. But Everest is one of the most dangerous places on earth.
This was the year of the big earthquake! Obviously, I am still here. But I had checked in with myself on this topic before I went.
And whether or not big, risky adventures are part of your journey, I believe we should all ask ourselves the big questions at regular intervals.
Simply to step back from the daily distractions and remember to live on purpose. If you have been coasting, this is where you catch yourself before you drift too far off your desired course.
If you know me at all, you will know the huge impact my father’s death had on my mindset. My father died with his dreams intact and full of regrets. In a way that became the greatest legacy, he could leave for me. Because after our last conversation, I swore I would not go out the same way.
In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Bronnie Ware shares what she learned from her palliative care patients.
The number one regret that she kept hearing from patients was that they wished they had lived their own life authentically, instead of aiming to fulfill the expectations of others.
And the second regret? Many wished they hadn’t worked quite so hard, missing out on other aspects of life such as family time and travel.
For me, living a life of no regrets is about working with purpose and passion, with a good amount of time spent with my children, plus the odd crazy adventure on the other side of the world!
If you could make a change tomorrow; and you can, by the way… what would you choose to do differently?