The Surprising Benefits of Wasting Time

Looking back, there are some choices I wouldn’t make again:

  • I wouldn’t have dated certain guys (what was I thinking?!)
  • I wouldn’t have bought that mutli-colored faux-fur & denim vest (yes, it’s as ugly as it sounds)
  • And I wouldn’t have had that second donut (for the second time)

Sure, you could argue that I needed to learn those lessons to grow, and you’d probably be right.

But no matter how many dumb mistakes I made, here are the ones I’ll never regret:

  • How much time I spend with my friends & family
  • Doing things that bring me joy
  • Pursuing hobbies (even the ones I’m embarrassingly unskilled at)
  • Going on vacations
  • Watching TV (gasp!)

You might be saying, “Doing fun stuff is great. But on your deathbed, won’t you regret watching an entire season of Glee in one sitting when you could have been doing something more worthwhile?”


First of all, the first season of Glee was pretty good. So don’t judge.

Second, major life regrets (the kind you talk about on your deathbed) are caused by NOT doing the exact things I mentioned.

In a study by palliative care nurses who cared for patients at the last moments of their lives, the most frequently expressed life regrets were:

  1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn't 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.

Having fun isn’t a selfish act.
It doesn’t make you lazy or unsuccessful, it makes you smart.
It makes you the type of person who can think ahead to the moment when you'll have a greater perspective on what truly matters to you.
It makes you the type of person who exercises choice.
Isn’t it time you prioritize what truly matters?
Isn't it time that you get clear on what you truly want? 
After all, clarity is power.

So here’s my question & challenge for you:

On your deathbed, what will your greatest regret be?

What action can you take today to prevent that from happening?

The Takeaway:

Life is for the living. Do it on your terms. 

What will you regret not doing?
Share your story in the Comments section below!