The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

What We Can Learn from the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying (and How to Choose a Happy Life)

February 12, 2024 Dai Manuel Season 1 Episode 56
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
What We Can Learn from the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying (and How to Choose a Happy Life)
The 2% Solution with Dai Manuel
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt trapped in a life that doesn't feel entirely your own or wondered if your endless work hours might be a path paved with regrets?

That's the heart and soul of our latest 2% Solution Podcast episode.

We unlock the intimate lessons from those who've faced their final days with powerful reflections.

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse, shared her experiences with the dying, revealing the yearnings and regrets that resonate with us all.

We're not just talking about these poignant truths; we're giving you the keys to a life of authenticity and balance.

Buckle up for a journey through raw emotions and laughter, where I'll guide you with personal tales and actionable advice on living to the fullest. It's a rollercoaster of introspection, from confronting the fear of unfulfilled dreams to understanding the art of slowing down and savoring life's every moment.

We'll dissect practical strategies for crafting 'me time' and prioritizing what ignites our passion.

And for those who've ever felt the pinch of the work-life scale tipping unfavorably, get ready to reshape your approach to work with a philosophy that celebrates living over laboring.

Join us and transform your 'should haves' into 'glad I dids.

Check out these websites for more about Bronnie Ware and the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying:

  1. Her blog
  2. Her TED Talk
  3. Her book, The 5 Regrets of the Dying

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Have you ever wondered if you're truly living your best life or stuck in a never-ending reality show called "Why Do I Keep Doing This?"

Meet Maurice, a fellow Canadian who might be a secret wizard. He's created the Life Inventory Assessment.

At first, I was skeptical, thinking, "Sure, Maurice and I'm a unicorn."

I tried it, and whoa! I was so amazed I dedicated a podcast episode to sharing my "ah-ha" moments and clarity.

And here's the deal: This incredible tool for self-awareness can be yours for just $24.98!

That's not only a massive 75% discount; it's also just one penny short of the cost of a one-month Netflix binge of high-tier shows.

Along with this life-altering assessment, you'll also receive Dr. Douglas Tataryn's e-book, typically priced at $37.

And because I believe in overdelivering (or maybe it's just too much coffee), you'll also get my "Dai Manuel's Whole Life Fitness Manifesto" – a guide to living your best life, valued at $24.

As the cherry on top, Maurice and I will take you on a masterclass journey where we'll spill all the secrets of maximizing your newfound self-awareness.

Visit, and let's turn your life into the adventure it's meant ...

Dai Manuel:

Hey there, welcome back to the 2% Solution Podcast, where we sprinkle a little bit of magic dust on our daily routines to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. I'm your host, diamond Well, your friendly neighborhood guy on this epic quest called life. Today we're cracking open a treasure chest of wisdom, diving into the top five regrets of the dying. The five regrets of the dying concept comes from Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog, which later turned into a book titled the Top Five Regrets of the Dying, according to, where the most common regrets shared by people nearing the end of life were one, if not all, five of five. But don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom. Inspired by the blue zones where people just seem to keep on living and thriving, we're going to learn how to dance in the rain, laugh in the face of storms and maybe, just maybe, eat that second piece of cake without the guilt. So you ready, let's dive in. Number one I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Again, let me say that again. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made or not made. Picture this you're 90, you've got your grand kid on your knee and you suddenly realize you've been living the plot of someone else's sitcom. Been there almost did that. I remember a time when I was climbing the corporate ladder taking off someone else's checklist of success. Then one day, while munching on a particularly uninspiring sandwich, I thought is this it? That's when I discovered my icky guy diving headfirst into what makes my heart sing, helping others find their joy and wellness. And if you haven't listened to the episode talking about the blue zones, I highly recommend go check it out to learn a bit more about what is icky. To sum it up, it's basically why you get up every morning.

Dai Manuel:

Now let's get practical around this first regret, because if we're going to do something intentional to not only move past and away from that regret. That would mean living a life that's honoring the opposite of what we feel we missed, and so my recommendation is this idea of carving out me time in your calendar. Don't pretend me time that turns into grocery shopping. I mean sitting down, no distractions, and asking yourself what makes me. Me Then do more of that. Simple, yeah, easy, not always Worth it, absolutely Just making sense.

Dai Manuel:

Now moving on to regret number two. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. This came from every male patient that were nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most of where's patients were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. Both genders deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

Dai Manuel:

So this idea of regret number two is really working so hard that you forget to smell the roses or, even worse, forgetting to plant them in the first place. Trust me, I was pretty much the king of workaholics. If there were an award, I'd probably have a trophy room full of it. But let me tell you, burning the midnight oil just burns you out. And if we think about what we learned in the blue zones, especially from those friends in Sardinia, that life's too short to spend it all in an office. Sure, they were, but they also know when to shut off and sip wine with their friends. So here's a tip around this regret Schedule a play date with yourself or loved ones, and I'm serious about putting it on your calendar. If it's not scheduled, it's not real. Be intentional with the time and that commitment of your future energy. Start with maybe as simple as a tech-free dinner. You know, actually leave the phones somewhere in a completely different room, maybe throw them in the closet, whatever, but just have a tech-free dinner. Yes, the world will keep spinning if you don't check your email for a note.

Dai Manuel:

Now the third regret. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result of this regret. So what does that really mean? You know that idea of not sharing how you really feel. Have you ever bottled up your feelings until you popped like a shaken soda. I've decorated a few ceilings with my emotions, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Dai Manuel:

Then I learned about the Okonawan concept of why this is the idea of a group of friends for life. I started small opening up to a friend over coffee many, many years ago when I was really struggling. It was awkward, like a penguin trying to fly, but it broke the ice. And this idea of breaking the ice, this idea of being vulnerable, going first, it's incredible Because, guess what? My relationship's deepened and I actually felt lighter. So here's something to try Next time you're with a friend, share something real, something raw. Start with hey, I don't usually say this out loud, but it's like emotional bungee jump. It's scary, yeah, but it's also exhilarating.

Dai Manuel:

Now, regret number four I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often people would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until they're dying weeks, and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lies that they had let golden friendships slip by. Over the years there were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. So this fourth regret Pretty much letting friendships fade like old Levi's jeans. I've been there. You know thinking my pals were like cacti needing no water to thrive. And spoiler alert friends are not cacti.

Dai Manuel:

I miss out on so much by not picking up the phone or sending a simple text or a DM. Now I make it a point to check in, schedule video calls or even send a meme here and there. It's like watering plants A little care goes a long way. Now, what to do? Set a reminder to reach out to someone each week, even if it's like just Monday morning, 9.30 am. You got something that pops up recurring every week in your calendar just to say reach out to somebody you haven't spoken to in a while. It can be as simple as just hey saw this and thought of you. Small gestures can rebuild bridges you thought may have been burnt.

Dai Manuel:

Now, moving on to the last regret, the fifth regret I wish that I had let myself be beer. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called comfort of familiarity overflowed into their emotions as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others and to themselves that they were content, when deep within they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again, wishing you to let yourself be this one's a kicker, because it truly is all on us.

Dai Manuel:

I used to think happiness was a destination, like I'll be happy when I get that promotion or that car, that house I mean, you name it right. Then I realized happiness is a journey. It's not the actual final destination. Destination. Destination In Nikoya, again, another one of the blue zones. They find joy in the every day. The last one I've really taken to heart Now I just savor my coffee. I do take the time to laugh at my own jokes, because you know what Someone's got to do it. But I also find joy in the little things. Now here's how you can, too, start at gratitude Every night, jot down three things you're grateful for.

Dai Manuel:

It could be as simple as the sun was shining or my coffee was strong. It shifts your focus to the positive and, trust me, the way the world works today and if you are on media, it bombarded with a lot of negative messages, constant. So why not do something to offset, you know, set that intention to end your day with something positive. So when you shut your eyes and start to sleep and start that recovery, start that REM process. You got powerful messages, positive messages that are fueling you during that recovery time so you can wake up even jazzed and more focused and connected the following day. All right, let's bring this all home. We've been on a bit of a roller coaster today, I know, from staring down those big, scary regrets to grabbing life by the horns with some blue zone wisdom. But let's do a quick recap so you're armed and ready to tackle life without looking back with a what if or a if only.

Dai Manuel:

So, number one be real with yourself. Carve out some quiet time each week to ask yourself if you're really doing your thing or just plain follow the leader. My own light bulb moment came with a sandwich in hand. Folks, you want to find what lights you up inside and chase it. Don't wait for the sandwich Now. Number two don't live at work. Remember nobody on their deathbed wishes they spent more time at the office. So how about making dinner time a phone free zone? Let's take a page from the Sardinians and remember to laugh, to eat and to enjoy the ride.

Dai Manuel:

Number three you got to let it out. Got something on your mind? Share it. It might feel like doing a belly flop at first, but it's worth it. Opening up is like letting out a breath you didn't know you were holding. Trust me, it's a game changer.

Dai Manuel:

Number four keep your friends close. Friendships aren't like fine wine. They don't get better if you leave them on a shelf. Shoot a text, share a laugh or just check in. A little love goes a very long way. And number five choose to be happy. Start hunting down those everyday joys, like Easter eggs.

Dai Manuel:

A gratitude journal can be a game changer. Three things every night it's simple, but it's also mighty. And boom. That's how you dodge those top regrets and live a life full to the brim with joy, purpose and deep connection. Just make those changes one small step at a time, because it's those little tweaks that lead to epic sleeps. Let me say that again. Because it's those little tweaks that lead to epic leaps. So you feeling pumped, a little inspired, ready to take out in the world, then hit the subscribe button. Spread the love and light on social media and drop us a review. Your voice could be the beacon that guides someone else to shore. There you have it, folks we've laughed, we've learned and now it's time to leap into action. Remember, life's too short for regrets. So let's make every moment, every choice and every day count. Here's to living our best lives. One chuckle, one challenge and one cheer at a time. Until next time, keep pushing, keep playing and, most importantly, keep smiling. Catch on the flipside.

Unveiling the Concept of 'Five Regrets of the Dying'
Regret 1: Living a Life True to Yourself
Regret 2: Overworking and Missing Out on Life
Regret 3: Suppressing Feelings and Living a Mediocre Life
Regret 4: Losing Touch with Friends
Regret 5: Not Allowing Yourself to be Happier
Recap & Conclusion: Living Life Without Regrets

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