15 Things People on Their Deathbed Wish They Did Differently

1 July 2021

Death Is Tragic and Sad. Here Are 15 Most Common Regrets People Have on Their Deathbed.

The “Deathbed Fallacy.” That’s what computer scientist Rikard A. Hjort has dubbed it. It’s that moment you see in the movies, when someone is just about to cross the rainbow bridge and they share their deepest regrets.

Today, we’ll find out 15 Things People on their Deathbed wish they did differently and why Hjort has labelled it the “Deathbed Fallacy.”

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Without further ado, let’s move forward with the article.


I Wish I Hadn’t Worked So Hard

This is a tough one Aluxers, because we need to work; to earn money, to pay our bills, and to survive… but how much worse off would we be if we reduced our working time by a couple of hours each week? Or, if we opted not to worry about spending money on the latest “whatever” and rather saved those hours of worktime to invest in yourself, your family, or the community.

How much more of a fulfilling life would you have if you didn’t work so dam* hard all the time? Those on their deathbed believe their life would have been far better if they had just worked less.


I Wish I Had Laughed Things off More Often

Uptight, sensitive, can’t take a joke, takes things too seriously… is that you? Do you take things to heart and mull over the same scenarios over and over in your head?

Do you take offence to everything, whether it’s aimed at you or not?

Or do you just not see the funny side of things anymore?

It’s tough when life is not always easy, and you’re feeling worried, anxious and stressed out… but people on their deathbed genuinely believe that if they had just laughed off the sh*t more, things would have been much better.

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I Wish I Had Enjoyed More of the Foods I Loved

OR I wish I hadn’t indulged in so much of the wrong food.

Perhaps the person is on their deathbed is because of the bad choices they made in their eating. But, if that’s not the reason, and they always skipped the slice of chocolate cake, or said no to a fresh scone with jam and cream, they may be regretting always saying no to the sweeter things in life.

Life is a balance, isn’t it Aluxers? By all means, enjoy the slice of chocolate cake, just don’t indulge in 3 slices. Have a scone with jam and cream, just don’t have a scone with jam and cream every day.


I Wish I Hadn’t Wasted My Time Trying So Hard for People That Didn’t Matter

Dr Seuss put it beautifully when he said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

We spend so much time and energy trying to please people who wouldn’t hold a door open for us… why? Why do we seek their approval so badly that we make ourselves ill from trying?

Of course, try a few times to salvage a relationship or not lose a friend, but if there is no reciprocation – then to stop trying is not giving up or failing – it’s looking after your own mental well-being.

Rather invest that time and energy on the people that do want to spend time with you. The ones that message you back, the ones that don’t always cancel plans, the ones that genuinely give a dam* about you.


I Wish I Had Not Been So Attached to My Phone

Many people feel like they’re missing a limb when they’re not close to their mobile phones. As reported by ABC News, the sensation is “Chalked up largely to a natural anomaly in the wiring of the brain, such experiences blur the boundaries between reality and imagination…”

Dr. William Barr, the chief of neuropsychology at the New York University School of Medicine, says that “If you use your cell phone a lot, it becomes part of you, you become habituated to it.”

No surprises, those that are crossing the rainbow bridge feel it was a complete waste of time and regret it.

If you’re keen to ditch the phone – be sure to watch our video:


I Wish I Had Taken More Risks – Lived a Little on the Edge

You’ve heard the saying, “Amazing things stand on the other side of fear,” or what Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

It’s a sentiment that has stood the test of time because it’s so true.

Say yes, a little more often. It doesn’t come easily right away but the more you say yes, the more wonderful experiences you will be exposed to. Don’t be that guy on his deathbed, wishing he had taken that crazy surfing trip, or was too afraid to even climb on the board. Go and try it, even if it’s just once.


I Wish I Had Stood up to the Bullies, the Meanies, the Baddies, and the Gossips

Bullies, baddies, meanies and gossips – they come in all shapes and sizes. It’s your uncle making a sexist joke at the dinner table, it’s your classmate making a racist comment on the sports pitch, or your partner turning a blind eye to harassment they know is happening at the workplace.

Perhaps you think you’re just one person, what difference can you make? But every time you put a misogynist in their place, you stand up for women around the world. When you defend a person of colour from an insensitive remark, you take a stand for all people of colour and so forth.

The immediate awkwardness of standing up for people, compared to the long-term benefit for you and those you stood up for, is totally worth it and not worth regretting on a deathbed.


I Wish I Had Made a Difference

If you’re thinking we mean going out and chaining yourself to a tree, we’re not. Although, that’s a great plan too in the right situation.

What difference did you make in someone’s life? When did you go out of your way to help an injured animal, pick up litter with your community, support a raffle or buy girl scout cookies?

Making a difference doesn’t need to cost money, but so many people think they’ll lose by giving, and only when they’re near the end does it come to light that giving isn’t the problem… it’s the not giving that causes far more loss.


I Wish I Hadn’t Spent So Much Time Worrying about Things I Couldn’t Control

Worry literally saps the joy from any given moment. It robs us of our happiness and causes us to age terribly. For some, constant worry and anxiety will literally kill them.

If you give so much of yourself to a problem you can’t fix, you’re doing yourself a complete disservice.

If you’re this person, Forbes suggests the following:

  •         Develop a realistic sense of control.
  •         Schedule time to worry.

After that, let it go and live your life so that you’re not wishing you did things differently on your deathbed.

If you want to know about things you can actually control, check out 15 Things You Can Control in Life


I Wish I Had Travelled More

There are a million reasons why we put off traveling… budget being the main one. Then there’s work commitments, children, and plain-old fear.

There are also a million people still travelling despite a small budget, children and fear… and you do not need to be exempt from those experiences.

If traveling is something you’re putting off until you’re richer, single, your kids are out of school… what if those times never come and you’re dying way earlier than you ever imagined?

It’s not worth putting off those travel dreams.


I Wish I Had Pursued the Career I Really Wanted

In our video, 15 Reasons Why the 4-Hour Work Week is a Lie, we mentioned the quote “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” which was a basic summary of how Tim Ferris liked to live and work.

His book, “The 4-Hour work week” is an interesting listen, so, don’t forget to listen to Ferris’s book yourself. We’ve got a free download waiting for you through Audible. Head to alux.com/freebook.

We are often pushed into career options for all the wrong reasons… our parents force us, we want to be rich, we try one-upping someone else, we choose the easy route because we’re afraid of failure…

And it’s too late to change careers when you’re on your deathbed, so do it now, before it really is too late.


I Wish I Had Taken Better Care of My Health

This will vary depending on the habit you’ve clung onto for your whole life. Smoking? Drinking? Zero physical activity? Too much physical activity? Not listening or reading the signs of your body, and missing vital health indicators that something was wrong? Never going for a check-up because you’re afraid what the results will be?

We get it – but sadly it’s too late for the “I wish” so make the changes now that will give your body a chance to regain some footing and set you on the right path for a strong, healthy life.


I Wish I Had Been More Present

We are a distracted generation. We forget to smell the roses, because we’re so far ahead in our mind, that the roses don’t even feature anymore.

Do you have any idea of the things that we’re missing out by not being present?

So much Aluxers, so much.

And things like smelling the roses, watching the birds eating or smelling the ocean breeze, are all moments that need your presence. Not only is it so good for your soul, but it will help you connect to those that matter to you most.  


I Wish I Had Seen My Own Worth

Maya Angelou once said, “Your crown has been bought and paid for. Put it on your head and wear it.”

We are all worth so much, but we invest so little into ourselves. If only we see our value while we are alive, breathing, running, jumping and most importantly, smiling.

Only you can choose your own worth Aluxers, nobody else has that right, and if they think they do – best you walk away because these are not words you should be uttering on your deathbed.


I Wish I Had Realized How Much I Already Had

We are always striving for more. We try and fill the empty spaces, not only in our homes but in our hearts and minds. We are relentless, like a dog with a bone and we don’t sit back to appreciate what we already have or how far we’ve already come.

You have enough and you are enough.


Have you ever had someone share their biggest regret when they were on their deathbed? We’d love to hear what it was!