This article has been around for a bit http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/04/27/the-top-5-regrets-of-the-dying/ and outlines the experiences of a palliative care nurse and the responses that those who are dying have to the process and the regrets that they have. This is one of those articles that really brings back to the fore what is actually important in our lives, not money or possessions, not the ability to achieve or be ‘famous’ but rather the things that are there with us everyday and that we may not even see – our family and friends, the need to express ourselves for who we are, and the shedding of the expectation of others.
Too often we forget the things that are important in our lives, the friends and family who surround us, and too often we forget that often muttered phrase about wealth “You can’t take it with you” (when you die, this is). But yet, we throw ourselves so fool hardily into work and believe that the achievement or wealth and financial stability will lead to happiness in the end. The more that I think about the reference article, the less that I think that work even matters.
Regardless of your philosophical or religious outlook on life, it is imperative that we use life for living and experiencing those around us, rather than simply focussing on work. Society is consumptive and as a result we find that we need to work harder in order to afford and buy this things that we really only just want. In order to get back to normalcy, we need to look at what our real priorities are and if you take a look at the list in the linked article, what, if any, regrets will you have?
One of the core principles in psychological therapy and mental wellness has to be that of balance and that is what we need to seek in our everyday lives, rather than seeking an excess of one thing in the belief that it will make up for something else is fallacious and only leads to pain and heartache. Through health care practice, it is obvious that no-one is immune to the pitfalls of life, whether they be mental illness, illness, or death of those around us. The amount of wealth or achievement that you have is not a direct correlation to having no struggles in your life.
Ask yourself, without work, what are you? Who are you?