Dying Lessons to a Better Life | DO 62

Regrets of the DyingSubscribe

Early last week, Matt received a tweet from Tim Ferriss of Four Hour Work Week fame referencing an article from “The Guardian News” written by Susie Steiner.  In this article, Susie references a book written by Bronnie Ware, Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.

On this episode, Matt discusses the top 5 regrets of the dying so that you can do something about it now before it is too late.

This episode is in honor and celebration of those that we loved, and continue to love, that are no longer with us.


Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I wouldn’t have worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.


Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • What are you giving up right now because you are concerned with what other people will think if you were to take action on that?
  • Are you working to the detriment of time spent with the people you care about most in this world; and
  • How can you show them – with action – how much you care about them?
  • What in your life has been left unsaid?
  • Where in your life are you suppressing your feelings; and
  • How is that affecting you and those you surround yourself with?
  • Who can you call today just to say hello?



  • “Learn from the mistakes of others.  You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Work like you don’t need the money, dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, and live life every day as if it were your last.” – Irish Proverb
  • “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard


Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:


Podcast Transcript: 

(Voice Over):  During an era where countless people, businesses and organizations are feeling the pinch. Running out of time, running out of money, losing confidence, feeling as if life is unfair, praying for another chance and unless something is done, life is going to past them by. Fortunately, in the nick of time, there is now a place where the ignored, underestimated and unknown steps to producing results and making life work are revealed. Save your career, save your business, save your health, save your relationships, save your life. Get from where you are to where you want to be, faster and with greater ease than you ever thought possible. Say hello to your Do Over.

Matthew Theriault: Welcome. This is episode 62 of the Your Do Over podcast and this is Matt, The Do Over Guy, Theriault and this is the place. This place right here is where I show people who want more out of life, people dissatisfied with their current situation, people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired or even people that are okay with life.

They’re not too mad about how it’s going right now but they just want a little bit more out of it and that’s okay. This is the place where I show them all how to start over and begin a new life setting goals, objectives, so that they can create wealth and they can create financial freedom and they can create the lives of their dreams and then they can live that life to its fullest.

And you can get your Do Over started fast by laying a solid foundation when you download the three pillars of creating the ultimate Do Over for free. I mean you can get that for free at freedoover.com. freedoover.com. It’s a 55-minute mp3 audio program that I made just for you. Just for you listening to me right now with three specific steps on how to get success as you start over. And that is yours for free at freedoover.com.

Okay, hello! It’s great to be back. It’s been a few months, missed you guys. I’ve been working really hard on my own do over. That’s where I’ve been. That’s what I’ve been doing and if you want to get more detailed account of what I actually been doing,

I shared that with my Epic Real Estate Investing audience. So if you’re interested in how my Do Over is going and what it’s all about, you can head over to the Epic Real Estate Investing podcast. That’s episode number 42.

It’s a very real estate related subject. That’s most of my Do Over revolves around real estate which just seem to be a better fit for that podcast. I just don’t seem to any need now to go over the details to why create a duplicate episode. I’ve split this podcast for a reason and besides, I’ve got what I think is an even better show for you today, alright?

You see, as I’ve been grinding away the last few months, really working, you know, six to seven days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day and it’s certainly paid off. I mean, it’s paying off very well. The last six months have been my best, my absolute best six months since the music business and that was a long time ago.

But just a couple weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter account and one of the people that I’ve follow is Tim Ferriss, author of the Four-hour Work Week and I’ve noticed a tweet from him. He had tweeted an article from the Guardian News.

There’s an article written by Susie Steiner and this article was titled, “Top Five Regrets of The Dying”, “Top Five Regrets of The Dying” and this article is essentially stopped me in my tracks.

It had my undivided attention. I stopped everything I was doing. I went on to read the whole thing and I didn’t read it because I’m dying and know there’s anyone that I know dying but it did strike a cord with me.

You see there’s a nurse and the subject of the article, this nurse, she recorded the most common regrets of the dying and among the top ones is, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” That’s kind of where it sucked me in. That’s where it hit me. I work really hard and I enjoy what I do so I’m not complaining and I work really hard and I’ve been working really hard on my do over especially this last six months. So, I’m going to basically just loosely read from this article.

It was written by Susie Steiner, published in The Guardian News. I want to make sure that I give credit to where credit is due and as I’m reading through this, I want you to think about your own life and your Do Over and see what applies.

I mean, maybe some of it, maybe all of it or maybe none of it. That’s okay but if there’s something here to get, something to learn from those that have been there before us, it would all be worth it, okay?

One of my all-time favourite quotes and I’ve referenced it several times here on the show it’s just, it’s one of the building blocks of this show, actually, it’s “Learn from other people’s mistakes as you won’t be here long enough to make them all by yourself.”

It comes from Mr. Mark Twain and I love that quote because we’re not going to be here to learn all the mistakes on our own and why would we want to especially if there’s a shortcut. Especially we can learn from other people’s mistakes.

So let’s see what we can learn today from other people’s regrets. By the way, in this article, there was no mention of more sex or more bungee jumping, alright?

The nurse, her focus or her specialty is on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients in their last days and in her patient’s last days, they commonly reveal to her their biggest regrets, their last words of wisdom.

So here’s the context for today: If this were your last day of life, what would be your biggest regret, okay? If this were your last day of life, what would be your biggest regret? So let’s go through this article together and see if what you think would be your biggest regret. See if it matches up with the dying.

One thing that the nurse had noticed is that, you know, on your dying days, you get this amazing sense of clarity, a level of clarity that might not exist or you until you’re actually experiencing the end. Though, just, I just want to, I’m bringing that up because the context: If this were your last day of life, what would be your biggest regret?

Let’s see if what your clarity is right now matches up with the extreme clarity of the dying, okay? And I want to create, this is not really about death, it’s more of an honour to those and thank you to Bronnie Ware, she’s the nurse, her name, and thank you for bringing this to our attention and sharing this information with us.

She’s an Australian nurse who recorded these dying epiphanies and she published them in a book and it’s entitled, The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying. Now I haven’t read it but if you like what you hear today and you want to read more, that’s the title of Bronnie’s book, The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying.

Okay, so here we go. Here are the top five regrets of the dying as witnessed by Nurse Bronnie Ware. Number one, “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”, “I wish I had the course to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

And this was actually the most common regret of all. I mean, when people realize that their life is almost over and they look back really clearly on. I mean it’s just; it’s easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. I mean most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices that they had made or not made.

I mean, health brings a freedom very few realize until they no longer have it. You know, as you all know, I’ve shared with you, I’m a recent father. My son Mateo is just a month shy of one and a half.

That’s seventeen months and for those of you that are parents out there, I don’t have to tell you. You already know this but this is a brand new experience for me. You know, as I’m watching Mateo grow up, I’m noticing when babies come into this world, they really have no concept of what other people think about them.

They just do what they do because they want to do it and it hasn’t happened yet but at some point, I know this is going to happen at some point, Mateo is going to experience a moment where he’ll be concerned about what someone else thinks of him.

And it will actually alter his action. I mean, it’ll be altered in a way that he won’t do what he wants to do because he’s concerned what someone else will think of him. As adults, we all know it only gets worse from here, right?

It only gets worse. So, here’s the question that came to mind when I read this dying regret and you want to address this for yourself. As we all have an answer, even if we don’t think we have one, we all do.

So be honest with yourself, alright? Be honest with yourself. You don’t have to share this with anybody, just you and me here, though just answer to yourself because you do have an answer. What are you giving up right now?

What are you giving up right now because you are concerned with what other people will think of you were to take action on it? Let me say that again, stumbled through that. What are you giving up right now because you are concerned with what other people will think if you were to take it on, you would take action on that, on what you want? What are you giving up?

This question really got me down to the root of this one quote that you see; you see it all over the place. It’s all over the place, you’ll know what it is in just a second. I mean, I believe it’s actually an old Irish proverb but there are many people who have switched it up a bit and made it their own and they take credit for it but it doesn’t really matter.

Here’s the gist, “Work like you don’t need the money, dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, love like you never been hurt and live life everyday as if it was your last.” You’ve all heard a version of that somewhere in our life.

It really ties in to this first dying regret, doesn’t it? “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” So ask yourself, write your answer down. Write it down so first you don’t forget and second, so that you can do something about it. What are you giving up right now because you are concerned with what other people would think if you were to take it on?

Okay, dying wish number two; I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Wish I hadn’t worked so hard. I mentioned this one in the beginning and it’s the very regret that caused me to read even further as this really does apply to my life at the very moment, at this very moment.

This regret, it came from every male patient that Bronnie nursed. Men, they really just, missed their children’s youth and they missed their partner’s companionship and they wished they hadn’t worked so hard. Women, they also spoke of this regret but as most were an older generation, many of the female patients, they had not been the breadwinners of the family.

All of the men that she nursed deeply though, deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence and actually just took action on this one last night. All these information does you no good unless you actually do something with it, right?

Though I took this information, I took action on it last night and you know, I’m getting ready to head to Vegas for a convention for the next week and I’m heading out tonight, actually.

I’m getting on a plane actually in just a few hours and I had a ton of stuff to do last night to prepare for my trip and I still have a little bit to do but I had a ton last night.

But my family was invited last night by another family, some good friends of ours, to go to the beach, Manhattan Beach, and watch a Christmas fireworks show. And with this particular article at the top of mind, I just instinctively said yes. I’ve got a ton to do but yes, I’m going.

Work can wait. So I went, had an awesome time, got home by 11 o’clock. I put my son to bed and then I stayed up for a few more hours and got all of my work done.

I mean, there’s a small little event, there’s just a little firework demonstration of Christmas celebration down at the beach but we had a blast and that’s really what it is all about. This morning, it just felt so good that I told my work, “Hey, work, you can wait.” That felt really good and I’m going take this on.

I’m going to do it as often as I can. Though the question is, are you working to the detriment of time with your loved ones, the people you care about most in the world? Are you working to the detriment of the people that you care most about in this world?

If you are, what are you going to do about it? What can you do right now, this is the question, what can you do right now to show that person or people how much you care about them?

And words don’t count by the way; they don’t count all by themselves. It must be words accompanied by action. If this dying regret, I wish I hadn’t worked so hard, applies to you, that is your homework assignment?

Okay? What can you do right now to show that person or people how much you care about them? You got to take action on it. Right, that’s your assignment if this one’s applies.

Dying wish number three, I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. I wish I had had the courage to express my feelings. Now I’m getting much better at this one, the older that I get.

Because it seems to be the older I get, the less I do actually care what other people think about and I’ve been much better expressing my feelings over this last decade but I can really see in my past where I frequently bit my tongue or I had opened my mouth and expressed my feelings. In hindsight, I can see where it would’ve serve me and serve others positively.

I mean I’ve avoided that short-term pain. I chose that short-term comfort by suppressing my feelings but that results in long-term pain. I mean you choose that short-term comfort and results in the long-term pain.

That’s why a lot of us will suppress our feelings. I mean many people on their deathbeds, they’ve recognized how they suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others.

As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of being.  Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment that they carried as a result.

So the question here is and I’ve referred to this in the past, it was an integrity check.  What in your life right now has been left unsaid?  What is left unsaid?  Where are you suppressing your feelings? How is it affecting? How is it affecting others?

How can you get back into integrity and express your feelings in a way so that everyone is better for it in the long run?  That’s an important part of this question that you want to answer so that everyone is better for it in the long run.

I mean most of the time we suppress our feelings because we are looking to avoid that short term paying work.  We are choosing that short-term comfort but by avoiding that short term pain it turns into long term pain.  Doesn’t it?

You could all go and look back and see examples of that in our lives so I invite you to take on that short-term pain right now.  I invite you to do it. to experience that long-term comfort because that’s what we really want is the long-term comfort for all of those that are impact.

Okay? That’s one of the conditions.  It has positively impact everybody for the long-term.  Now maybe there’s something there for you or maybe not. However I would be willing to bet that there is.  I would be willing to place money on that. You know why I would do that?

Because you’re human.  We all do it. nobody is exempt. I understand that this can be a scary one. It is a scary proposition. I know but the long-term benefits are typically always worth taking on that short term pain or that short term risk.

A lot of times you’re going to take on that short-term payment.  You’re going to find out it wasn’t that painful.  A lot of times than not.  But hey, you know your situation better than I do so take that on if you want to try that on, take it on. There’s a miracle waiting for you on the other side of that one.

Dying regret number four, dying regret number four: I wish I had stayed in touched with my friends.  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.  I mean often the dying would not fully realize the full benefits of old friends until, you know, their dying weeks.

It was not always possible to track them down. Many have become so caught up in their lives that they had let golden friendships just slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they have deserved.

I mea everyone misses their friends when they are dying.  And oh men, this is a huge one for me. I am so guilty of this. I’ve been absolutely terrible at staying in touch with my friends.

I acknowledge that every time I do see them. I say, I’ll get better and I’m going to stay in touch with this person. I really enjoy this person’s company. I always have fun with this person. I just, this is my friend.

This is what friendship do. They should stay in touch with each other. I even acknowledge that when I do see them. I still fail at this one.  This is a new practice that I am really taking on the New Year.

It’s going to be definitely one of my resolutions so I am taking this on the New Year and beyond.  This is going to be habit. I am committed to this.  So who can you call today just to say hello?  Who can you call today to just say hello for the sake of saying hello?

I probably come up with a person then we can all come up with a significant list actually. So if this applies, make a list.  And hey this is the holiday season.  It’s the perfect time of the year to do it too.

But if you’re listening to this somewhere in the future in July, in the summer, that’s a perfect time as well.  All right.

Dying wish number five: I wish I had let myself be happier.  Interesting.  Isn’t it? I wish that I had let myself be happier. To the nurse, this was surprisingly a common regret. I mean many did not realize in the end that happiness is a choice.

They had stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called comfort or familiarity that overflowed into their emotions as well as their physical lives. You know fear of change had them pretending to others and to their selves.

They were just content when deep within they long to laugh properly and have silliness in their lives again.  And I really don’t have a comment on this one. I mean nurse Bronnie Ware, you covered that one completely in my opinion.

You know I wish that I had let myself be happier. Happiness, it is indeed a choice so your homework on this one is very simple. Happiness is indeed a choice. And your homework is to choose.

Okay.  That’s it for today.  I want to thank Ms. Bronnie Ware for her work and for sharing her work with us.  There’s some real golden nuggets in there. I want to thank Suzy Steiner for her article in the Guardian News and bringing this work to our attention.  Bringing nurse Bronnie Ware to our attention.

There’s something really life changing here. There’s some real life changing stuff in today’s episode.  So stop caring about what other people think.  Stop thinking so much to where it leads to the detriment of your loved ones.

Stop suppressing your feelings.  Get back in touch with your old friends and to regular communication with your friends.  Choose to be happy.  Choose to be happy.  And lastly, I’m going to leave you with this, another one of my all-time favorite quotes: Stop taking life so seriously.  None of us are getting out alive.

Live your time here on Earth to the fullest.  And now finally, I know I said lastly but now this is the final. I’m going to hold up a mug of my fine Irish logger and cheers to you with this Irish proverb, “Work like you don’t need the money.  Dance like no one is watching.  Sing like no one is listening.  Love like you’ve never been hurt.  Live like everyday as if it were your last.”

God loves you and so do I.  I am Matt, the Do Over guy. I will see you on the next episode of your Do Over.

(Voice Over):  Thank you for tuning in Your Do Over where the ignored, underestimated, and unknown steps to producing results and making life work are revealed. Remember, knowledge is potential power. Take action on what you learned today. This is not your learn over. It’s your Do Over. To view the resources, reference in today’s show and to retrieve the complete show transcript. Visit www.TheDoOverGuy.com. Stay connected with Matt “Do Over Guy” Theriault on Twitter at the Do Over Guy and on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/DoOverGuru.