Clues to living without regrets
Pollyanna began her talk by pointing out a lesser known fact : that according to Italian tattoo artists, “Vivere senza rimpianti” (I will live without regrets) is one of the most popular tag lines with which to embellish one’s torso. Whilst as she remarked, the morning after, might well produce conflicting sentiments, as one surveys the new permanent addition, she argued that surely to reach the end of one’s life without significant regrets must be what we would all wish for ourselves in our final moments. Therein belied her question, in order to maximize life fulfillment, how might we know ahead of time what we might regret in our final days?
Pollyanna suggested that whilst we might seek answers in literature there are few more compelling insights than those provided by Bronnie Ware. Ware, an Australian nurse who cares for elderly patients was so struck by the clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and in particular the common themes of regret which they cited, that she decided to record the “top 5 regrets of the dying”.
Pollyanna argued that the insights provided by Ware’s research coupled with a cultivated self-awareness in terms of one’s talents and passions might well provide clues as to how to ensure that our day to day work positively contributes to our own life fulfillment – in doing so not leaving room for work related regret. Finally, Pollyanna explored ways in which we might countenance an experiential approach to building our careers, allowing ourselves to develop broader interests and to embrace change, chance and coincidence on a daily basis without the need to resort to a permanent tattoo!