The most common deathbed regrets – and how to avoid them.

Everyone wants to “live life to the fullest” – but unfortunately, many of us will have at least one or two regrets by the time we’re old and grey.

But what are the most common deathbed regrets? And what can we do today in order to avoid them?

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The Regrets of the Typical American study examined that very question - and while it focused on US participants, it's safe to assume that the results would be fairly similar here in Australia.

The survey revealed that the most common deathbed regrets surrounded romance, family, education, career, finance, parenting, health, "other", friends, spirituality, community, leisure and self - in that order.

Interestingly, the survey also showed that men and women tended to regret different things.

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"Women, who tend to value social relationships more than men, have more regrets of love (romance, family) compared to men. Conversely, men were more likely to have work-related (career, education) regrets," the survey stated.

"Those who lack either higher education or a romantic relationship hold the most regrets in precisely these areas."

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Writing about the survey on the Mind Tips and Hacks blog, author Vaughan Bell said that "inaction regrets" - regretting the things we did not do - tended to be longer-lasting.

"The study also found that regrets about things you haven’t done were equally as common as regrets about things you have, no matter how old the person," he began.

common deathbed regrets
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"The difference between the two is often a psychological one, because we can frame the same regret either way – as regret about an action: 'If only I had not dropped out of school'; or as a regret about an inaction: 'If only I had stayed in school'."

It's a fascinating insight into human psychology, and an important reminder to fix the areas of life we're not happy with today - before it's too late.

Do you have any life regrets so far?

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