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  • Writer's pictureYvette E. McDonald, LCSW-QS

Living Life With No Regrets

Bronnie Ware a former nurse spent several years caring for the terminally ill, who were in the last few weeks of life. She recorded the regrets of people she spoke with as they were nearing their end and doing the all to common reflection on the life they lived. She eventually turned their discussions into an article and then a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Bronnie wrote this about people's most common regret of not letting themselves be happier, "This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end, that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again." In her book she outlines these top five regrets:

Living a life with no regrets means you have to resolve to be happy. You have to unpack the science of happiness and take intentional and baby steps daily to cultivate it within your life. All too often we dance around this concept of happiness all the while dismissing that it's an inside job that will take effort on our part to both experience it and live it out. As you travel on your journey be:

  1. Intentional about your happiness

  2. Determine and prioritize what's important

  3. Choose to live in the front row of your life making memories that last a lifetime.

  4. Embrace a positive and grateful attitude, outlook and stance on life.

You do deserve to be happy! Everyone does. But it's unfortunately not going to just fall into your

lap. You are in control of your happiness and how you choose to view yourself and your life. We only get one life to live. Isn't it time to start living it to the fullest? Tracie Miles says it best in her book "Love Life Again", as she concludes her book she challenges you to recognize your days are numbered and to start living live to the fullest by:

  1. Embracing contentment. Recognize where discontentment resides in your heart and tackle it so it doesn't lay claim to your happiness another day.

  2. Recognizing your value. Believe without a shadow of a doubt that you are a priceless treasure in God's eyes.

  3. Loving yourself. Love yourself the way God loves you, and commit to trying to see yourself through His eyes instead of focusing only on what you see in the mirror or in the rearview mirror of your past.

  4. Accepting forgiveness. Accept that God has forgiven you and remembers your sin no more. Believe you are clean and as white as snow from His point of view. Fully embrace His gift of unconditional forgiveness.

  5. Forgiving and forgetting. Set yourself free from the prison of bitterness, hurt, and anger by letting go of the past and forgiving those who have hurt you. Remember the prisoner you are setting free is you.

  6. Conquering loneliness. Don't let loneliness steal your joy, because you always have a Friend by your side.

  7. Being a friend. Pray for friends and expectantly and excitedly wait to see how God will fill your life with people. Always try to be the kind of friend you want to have.

  8. Laughing more. Laugh a lot, smile frequently, and let joy permeate you from head to toe. Be the reason someone else smiles today.

  9. Turning complaining into praising. Stop whining and complaining and start a habit of praising instead. Make every effort to look for reasons to praise God, especially when a wave of complaints begins to roll off your tongue.

  10. Stressing over the future no longer. Don't worry about tomorrow or a hundred tomorrows down the road, because God already has things all planned out. Trust He has control of your future and it is a good, good plan because He is a good, good Father.

  11. Developing a thankful heart. Fill your heart with so much thankfulness that ungratefulness has no room to grow.

  12. Being the answer to someone's prayer. Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Try to do something nice for someone else every day. Being kind to others not only makes us feel good but also shifts our focus from problems to people.

  13. Reigniting your faith. Ask God to ignite a flame in your heart, and spend time every day getting to know His story [and that of His son's] through Scripture.

She finishes off the book with these encouraging words definitely worth repeating,"Be more determined than ever to truly live the life you were meant to live, because this is the only chance you have to live it. Give it your all. Make the most of every day. Seize today! Let it be the first day of the rest of your very own joy-filled, dearly loved, amazing life."


Bronnie Ware, "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying," Huffington Post, January 21, 2012,

Tracie Miles, "Love Life Again, (Colorado Springs: David Cook, 2018)


Traveling Light Counseling is in the heart of Port Saint Lucie, FL and easily assessable from both Vero Beach and Martin County due to our close proximity to US1 and the Turnpike. I am committed to helping relationships be the best version they can be. Nothing excites me more that helping relationships level up and find fun and creative ways to connect, learn and grow. Please do not hesitate to bring me onto your journey, I'd be honored. Please give me a call at 772-361-8448 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation.


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