Regrets on Your Deathbed

As the age old saying goes: “YOLO!”

Oh wait, that’s the new age saying. The age old saying is what that acronym actually stands for… “You Only Live Once”.

Time seems to be racing at such a fast pace these days. Have you noticed?

Over the past 18 months as I’ve been writing here on The Start of Happiness I’ve been doing some deep and big thinking. It’s been about getting absolute clarity of what I want to do in life and ensuring I give myself to it to make it a reality.

When I look back on my life I don’t want to be living with any regrets. That’s why I made the biggest and toughest decision of my life and left my highly-paid, six-figure career to start over with nothing but a laptop and a desire to help others turn their passions into a thriving lifestyle.

Since leaving the corporate world, starting my own business has been one of excitement, challenge and monumental learning. It’s been one of the best things I have ever done in my life.

To wake up each and every day with more passion and motivation for what I’m doing is a massive milestone in itself. In saying that, it has been challenging, hard-work and has come with plenty of success and failure.

In the first 9 months of my new business – Gradrecruit, I’ve managed to get site traffic up to 60,000 pageviews a month and a user base of over 2,000 which I would say is a huge success. My income is generated from corporate clients and this has been harder than I first expected. But it’s expected that a new business takes time to build its brand, trust and client base. For the personal journey and learning experience I’ve been on, I wouldn’t change it for the world and I’m glad I’ve challenged myself in this way.


Making the Decision and Taking the Chance

Life is full of opportunity. It comes down to taking the chance.

Over and over again, different individuals prove that there are new and exciting ways of making a living. Just like this person who is a pet detective (no, it’s not Ace Ventura, although it is my favourite movie of all time so I automatically love these guys… alllrightythen!) These individuals are the trailblazers for new careers and they are bearing all the risk. There is never a guarantee that something will work out, but don’t you wish you would have at least tried?

I recently went to an entrepreneurial conference in Sydney where I got the chance to meet Sheryl Thai, a regular 20-something female who absolutely loved cupcakes. She thought she should start making cupcakes to sell to her friends. Just 4 years later, she’s turned her business, Cupcake Central, into a multimillion dollar powerhouse. AMAZING.

It all starts with a simple decision.

It’s the decision to change your life and do what you have always wanted to do.

I had always had the dream of starting Gradrecruit since I was a graduate at university. It was something that never left me. I always felt there was a link missing between the workforce and students at university. I realised that if I had been having these thoughts for a number of years, it’s something that I need to at least try. My gut was telling me I just needed to do it.

If you have a similar gut feeling about something you want to do, my recommendation would be to trust your gut. It’s always right.


There’s No Time for Regrets

The fact that time is flying by so fast means that there is absolutely no time for regrets.

Do you know what the most common regrets are of those on their deathbed?

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Just look over number one again.

That sums up what I’m getting across to you in this post.

It’s about having the courage to be authentically you. What are your deepest desires, passions and interests and how do you want to live your life?

That is the NUMBER 1 regret that most people have on their deathbeds. Do you want to be like most people and have that same regret?

Those that have lied on their deathbed and shared their regrets do so to help those that still have a number of years left in their life. If I were you I’d take their advice as gold. What matters most to us is is clear in life’s final moments.

Now, re-read number two again.

We are not on this planet to work, but to love and make a difference. Sure, your work can make a difference to society and to other people directly, but you have to make sure that you are doing the right work that enables you to be authentically you.

I would argue that work is not work when you’re absolutely passionate about it.

If you can find something that you really enjoy doing and use it as a vehicle for wealth, then that is more ‘play’ than work. When you get ‘pay for play’, that’s a pretty cool thing.


Regrets Comic


When is The Start of Happiness for You?

Alexander Kjerulf, one of the world’s leading experts on Happiness at Work said to me recently that there are two main things that create happiness.

  1. Relationships
  2. Meaningful Work

If you can wake up every day, passionate about what you do and know that it makes a positive impact on society, then you’re halfway there. If you can also surround yourself with supportive, passionate people then you’re happiness is going to be unstoppable.

When you link back these two statements with the top 5 regrets on your deathbed, you can easily see the clear link between them all. If this is what life is really about, why are we not allowing ourselves to fulfil it?

This is what the Launch Your Life Academy is all about. I want to help you find what you love doing and turn it into a thriving lifestyle. I feel this is a message that needs to be shared across the world.

If we can build a community of individuals taking the chance to live their most fulfilling life then I think we will have succeeded in our mission.

Will you join me?


P.S. The Launch Your Life Academy is reopening its doors next Tuesday, 29th April! I can’t wait to see you inside so make sure you mark that date in your diary! 🙂

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About the author 

Brendan Baker

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

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  1. Not to burst Alexander Kjerulf’s bubble, but Freud’s the one who said, “Love and work are the cornerstones to our humanness,” and is attributed with the idea that relationships and meaningful work are the proverbial ‘keys’ to happiness.

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  3. For me It’s all about having the courage to follow your dreams and overcome the fear of failure.

    In my country, Spain, everybody now are opening bussiness but they are still with fear in thier veins.

  4. For me It’s all about having the courage to follow your dreams and overcome the fear of failure.

  5. Hey Brendan,

    A great an insightful post. The one that really resonates with me is not working so hard.. Am looking to set up my side business at the moment and still continue my full time career.. This is really tough not to want to work too much on the side project to turn it into something generating enough income to leave the corporate world and follow my passion..

    1. I think it’s all about balance. And in saying that, if you can build a business around your passion it becomes less ‘work’ and more play.

      It can pay dividends to spend 3 years working really hard to build a business and then enjoy the fruits of your labour. You could do this and succeed, or you could work really hard in a 9-5 job and never really be fulfilled.

  6. Great post, Brendan.

    It’s all about the decisions. Somehow we can be afraid to take risk fearing that it wouldn’t work out. But look at the alternative – doing nothing.

    It’s better to start wherever you are now and do something about your life. Even if you took only a step and then it’s all over, well…at least you did something and didn’t become one of those who murmur themselves “What if…”

    1. I like that… as you say, the alternative is ‘doing nothing’… and where will that get you? 🙂

      Yep… I never want to say those words to myself… “what if!”!!

      1. ““what if!””

        It’s definitely a scary statement.

  7. Wow! This is one thought-provoking post there. I dropped a post a few hours ago about working on ideas as they come and stop procrastinating. Before that, I talked on YOLO!

    So, reading this was like, God is using different prophets to preach this one message. You have more regrets from things you fail to do than things you do.

    So, whatever our heart wants, why not go for it for a change?

    Great writeup, Brendan. Keep it up!

    1. Hey Tope!

      Maybe you’re right about some higher being trying to get this out? 🙂 As you say, you NEVER regret giving something a go. The biggest regrets are NOT giving something ago.

      Get out there, take risks, have fun, challenge yourself, test your limits and kick ass 🙂


      1. What are both your thoughts on taking calculated risks? Or is there no such thing as the life/safety jacket?

        I am looking to balance out generating an online business income with potentially leaving the corporate world and it seems tough but if it were easy everyone would be doing it right? 🙂

        1. Hey Jef!

          100%… nothing is easy… especially with an online business as it takes time to grow an audience (depending on how your building it). Calculated risks are even better… if you calculate correctly then the odds of success are in your favour 🙂

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