No matter what you do for a living, all of us have something in common: We all have 24 hours in a day. How you choose to spend your time, or your life, is up to you.
We only have one life to live. At the end of your life, what do you want to be remembered for? There are many popular, introspective self-help books right now on what the dying are thinking, and what they regret most.
I will always remember the moments spent with my grandmother in the hospital before she passed. That is where she taught me some of my most precious life lessons, as she suffered from Alzheimer's and was struggling to recover from a stroke.
She stared longingly out the window admiring the small tree and squirrels playing, as if thinking back on her life. She quoted my sweater, which said, "Go, fight, win" with a smile on her face as her body, which was once "fluffy" and full of life, laid feeble and lackluster under the sheets of her hospital bed.
Nanny told me she wanted to move to New Jersey, which is where she grew up on a farm. We had taken a road trip from Florida to New Jersey when I was a pre-teen, but she hadn't been back since then.
Although she didn't seem to remember who I was, despite helping my single mother to raise me, she looked at me as if she knew she should remember me but couldn't quite remember from where. She never made it back to New Jersey, to where she grew up.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative care nurse, is behind the blog Inspiration and Chai and the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. She's noticed themes and trends among people who she's assisted.
Here are the top five life regrets according to Ware--and how they apply to you:
1. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Here's how it applies to you: Happiness is a choice. Take the time to enjoy what's good about your life, whether it's a loving family, a great circle of friends, a safe roof over your head, a stable job, and food on the dining room table.
Don't spend your whole life looking ahead. Appreciate what you have now, in the moment.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
Money isn't everything. Although this a regret that the author said came from all men, women also regretted working so hard.
In the end, money can't buy you happiness, more time with your family and loved ones, or more time on this Earth. Although your career is important, it's not the be-all, end all.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Are you living out your dreams now? If not, what is stopping you? The author noted that many people she spoke to had honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
If money is stopping you from living out your dreams you can start saving or prioritizing your expenses now. If you are thinking of a career change, start taking steps in that direction. If you're looking for love, or a certain lifestyle, get the rest of your life in order to make room for these things.
Nobody is going to do this for you. It's in your hands.
4. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Don't be afraid to express yourself, tell people how you really feel, or speak up for yourself when it matters. Also, keeping emotions bottled up inside isn't healthy and could be a cause for many diseases.
5. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Your friends have been with you through thick and thin and nursed you through broken relationships, broken hearts, and career failures. And they are still here.
If you are lucky enough to have good friends, make sure you treat them well and make sure they know how loved they are. Make time to catch up with them -- it's good for your mental health.
Do you have any tips on living your life to the fullest? Let me know on Twitter.