The biggest regret

It is well recorded that the one thing people on their death beds regret most, is that they were not more true to themselves. “I wish I pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me.” Or “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” These two statements or much the same; one alludes to dreams and aspirations not met, while the other remarks on not having the courage to live true to oneself – to not have the guts to let the child within run free. Both point to a big mistake we all tend to make: living a life based on the expectations of others. Or rather: based on what we believe to be the expectations of others.

From a very young age we learn to conform – we are taught to “fit in”:

“Don’t make so much noise – people are looking at you!”

“Don’t wear that – they’ll laugh at you!”

“Don’t say that – you’ll sound stupid!”

“Don’t do that – its not done around here!”

And then the inner voice kicks in: “Don’t try that, they will scorn you if you fail.” And so the fear of failure kicks in: “What if I don’t have what it takes?” It takes control of you – sometimes for life. Based on the fear of not conforming with others’ norms and expectations, we allow others to dominate and control the way we set out in life – to control (and destroy) our dreams and aspirations. For the sake of conforming. For the sake of being bland and boring. Killing our uniqueness.

An old man lay dying in his bed. As he looked back at his life, at the little time he was granted on this Earth-school, he noticed how much time he spent trying to be, trying to live like others expected of him.

The truth is, no one expected anything of him – they couldn’t have cared less. They were far too busy living their lives the way they thought others expected them to!

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About Henry

This is so much more scary and beautiful and messy and challenging than anything I could ever have imagined. But this is real. This is my family and I would not want to change a thing. Being a dad has pushed me to new levels of spirituality. It has strengthened my relationship with God in a divine way, because I simply know that I won’t be able to handle any of this alone. And He has always been there. In magical ways. Sometimes making it just a little more bearable when the hours creep by so slowly during those baby feeding nights in the first few months. There are so many things to explore and discover together. Don’t hold back, don’t look for quick fixes and recipes. Keep it real. This will be the most fulfilling experience you will ever have!

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