I watched a TED talk recently about living to not regret anything. In it, Iman Aghay talks about his own experience of near death in his youth and the profound impact it had on his perspective of life and the life he had so far lived. Upon his miraculous recovery he felt deeply grateful to have another chance at life and profoundly changed the way he lived. Here is the full talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMQ4OxOxgrc.
I myself have not have a near death experience but I have been close to death, losing someone very close to me some years ago. At that time, it was a real shock and it did change many of my values, affecting me deeply. When faced with the prospect of death, you question life. The imminence and finality of death, and the shortness of life hits you hard. Death of a loved one made me realise life is short, and so very precious. All the superficial things, the majority of doubts and worries I had were insignificant in the grand scheme of things – of life. What matters is what matters to you. And for me that was the people I loved, love, joy and being true to myself.
For some time after my dad passed away I did not care for much of the things I used to, which was good but then I didn’t care for anything which was not. But over time, my somewhat “normal” life resumed and I started caring more about the things I used to, but still less than I used to. Listening to Iman’s talk bought me back to when I myself had these deep revelations, and made me think about what it means to live again. They say live your life every day as if it were your last – an inspiring quote that sounds good, but one that not many live by. Many of us live in fear, too quietly – in quiet desperation, myself included sometimes. I think this quote can help us to remember what life we want to live, who we are living for and use regret to help us realise what we don’t want, so we can live to have no regrets.
So what are the things you would regret not doing if you were close to death? Is it not being happy more often, not loving enough, not taking risks you fear, not doing something because of what others think of you, not taking opportunities – not making opportunities, not following your dreams, your heart? Are you living the life you want right now? Are you putting your time and energy into things you actually value, that are important to you? Ask yourself these important questions.
Every day we need to remind ourselves that we have one human life (that I am aware of) to live to the fullest if we so choose – and why wouldn’t we? So every time you want to do something but are unsure or are afraid of taking action, remember that you regret the things you didn’t do the most and that you want to live with nothing to regret. So take risks, make mistakes. When you realize that in taking risks, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain, new opportunities will present to you and many doors will open in your life when you are ready to let them. It is profound.
You may not get everything you want in life but you certainly won’t get anything if you don’t try. So live your life with no regrets and live as if you have one life because you do. Life can be so very amazing if you let it be.