Before you Die ... Have No Regrets: PART I


Have you ever known somebody close to you who has been given a diagnosis of a limited time left to live? Or seen a life devastated by a severe disability?

In the past I have posted on my Mind Matters News some reports and success stories from Barry Daniels, who as you may remember has had some pretty major challenges to face in his life.  

When somebody does face issues like these, and of course even without having to face such issues, people often think deeply about things such as … Is there anything in my life I would like to achieve before I die?  Before I leave this world is there any message I would like to leave as a legacy?  What is my life's purpose?
Barry recommended some pretty soul-searching books to me and I’ll mention one here and then a couple more in next month's instalment - Before You Die Have No Regrets - Part II.

“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

This is a very moving and inspirational book written by Randy before he died at the age of 47 from pancreatic cancer – still youthful, good looking and  energetic – with much to live for.  He was married with 2 young children and although it saddened him to know that he would not be there for his children, he didn’t want them to wonder what their Dad was like and how much he loved them.  He was an American professor who died just under 2 years after receiving this diagnosis.  One year after the diagnosis he delivered a lecture entitled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” which led to much media attention and the book “The Last Lecture” which he co-authored.  The book is based on the principles of celebrating the dreams we all strive to make a reality.
The talk  he gave was modelled on an ongoing series of lectures at his university, where top academics were asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk", with a topic such as "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" Even before speaking, he received a long standing ovation from a large crowd of over 400 colleagues and students. During the lecture, Randy Pausch was upbeat and humorous.
The entire book resonated with me and I’d like to quote below two parts from Randy Pausch’s book which particularly rang true for me.

A Bad Apology is Worse than No Apology

Apologies are not pass/fail.  I always told my students: When giving an apology, any performance lower than an A really doesn't cut it.

Halfhearted or insincere apologies are often worse than not apologizing at all because recipients find them insulting.  If you've done something wrong in your dealings with another person, it's as if there's an infection in your relationship.  A good apology is like an antibiotic; a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound. Randy Pausch

Tell The Truth

If I could only give three words of advice, they would be "tell the truth."  If I got three more words, I'd add: "All the time."  My parents taught me that "you're only as good as your word," and there's no better way to say it. Randy Pausch

Possible Actions To Take

These books have struck a chord with me because I know that having no regrets on your deathbed is important.  I have known people with limited life expectancy who have experienced regrets but no longer have the strength or ability to change anything in their life.  I have seen people with the wish that they had done what they really wanted to in life - before it became too late. No longer having the opportunity to change choices they wish they had made earlier in their lives, or perhaps make an apology, means that the outcome for them is to die with regrets or anguish.  This is one of the major reasons why I created a seminar about Life's Purpose.
Most of us don’t have the “luxury” (dubious though that “luxury” may be) of knowing the time of our death.  Don’t wait and procrastinate – we just don’t know what tomorrow may bring.  Make the most of your life and really go for what you want.  Clear any murky slates of relationships with those close to you which may have been blemished by hurt, hatred, resentment, lack of forgiveness.  Apologise if necessary … don’t wait for the other person to do it first. You may not have another chance … you just don’t know.  Do what needs to be done.
There are of course many paths to choose and if you’re looking for a route to finding your true life’s purpose … please consider attending some time my “Creating Happiness Intentionally” Seminar.  Learn how to recognise, set and reach your personal goals. I have included below a few words from some previous attendees.
If you act really quickly there are still a few places left in the Bali CHI - which is just 5 weeks away. There’s still time and you can still attend at the Early Bird Price - A$1697 all inclusive - except of course for air-fares - if I hear back from you with your intention, and a Deposit, by the end of next week, that is by Friday 28th May.  If Bali doesn’t work for you then the next CHI Seminar in Sydney (held not far from Sydney Airport and the City Centre) is from 6 to 10 October 2010, at a beautiful hidden retreat at an old monastery - the Early Bird all-inclusive cost to attend this Sydney CHI is A$1,395 - and it's possible to pay by instalments.
So, I urge you to “seize the day” … choose the life you want. Don’t arrive at the end of your days … no matter how far away that might be … and have regrets. You have one life … don’t squander it.
All the best,
Sandy MacGregor

Success Stories

CHI is a structured course which has given me an understanding, and enabled me to get a handle on meditation techniques.  It has motivated me to “set my sails” and be disciplined with regard to practising relaxation on a daily basis. I also appreciated (as I know others did also), that bit of sage advice and mentoring that Sandy provided on an individual basis from time to time.  Thank YouHG. Tas.

I came in search of some direction in my life.  I thank you for giving me that direction, along with a feeling of worth again.  I will leave you, with happiness in my heart and even a smile on my face.  Thanks Sandy.  WP.  Vic.

Your session on the first day when you asked about what would you do if you had 6 months etc… to live.  Wow, I couldn’t hold in the pain and burst out crying.  You asked “Did I want to share anything with the group?”  I did, which is not easy for me.  But I was so glad I did.  THANK YOU.
You talked about unconditional LOVE (which I have heard before) but it all started to become clearer.  I was pleased the morning you asked about one word that described how we felt. “CLEARER” just came to me.  The CDs about “Letting Go”, Unconditional Love”, and “Loving Yourself” … Wow !  Tears rolled down my eyes and I realised what was happening.  I forgave my brother-in-law, sister and myself.
  S.A.  NSW.



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