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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

Hey, team, I just wanted to jump on and record a solo podcast today about something that I found fascinating and really, I have to say, it completely changed my perspective on life the very first time that I came across it, and it even echoes to this day. Every single day, at least once a day, it certainly comes into my mind and it causes me to see things from a different perspective, and I’m hoping that it will have the same impact when everybody is listening, in so far as it will enhance their life as well. What am I talking about? I’m talking about a survey undertaken by a lady called Bronnie Ware, and that survey is called the top five regrets of the dying. Now, this is a lesson on life as much as it is a lesson on finance, money, business and wealth. Of course, all of those things are inextricably linked. Anyway, really, I see this as something a little bit beyond money. This is something that will cause us to shift our entire perspective on how we go about things, how we see things and probably how we see money as well, which is the main reason why I’m publishing it on the Dennisian Invest podcast. So the top five regrets of the dying survey by Bronnie Ware. For anyone who doesn’t know, bronnie Ware was a nurse who worked in Australia. She worked in a palliative care home. She was surrounded by people who are at the very end of their life and most of these people were old people. So they had a lot of life experience, they had a lot of wisdom and they had a lot of perspective perspective that we don’t actually achieve, perspective that we don’t actually get until we’ve lived those lives and we’ve been on this earth for that many years. So, really, whenever they have an opinion on something, whenever they have a perspective on something, bearing in mind that these are average people who lived average lives in a country that is similar to ours the country that most people listen to this podcast in is the UK. These people were in Australia, so very similar in terms of philosophy, in terms of income, in terms of all of those things. So, if these people represent us and they represent us a little further down the line, or certainly it’s the best window or opportunity that we have to speak to that version of ourselves who is 85, 90, 100 years old then really for me, their words are worth listening to because really, in a way, they represent our perspective whenever we reach that age, or at least it’s the best opportunity we have to understand how we may think. Whenever we reach that point, therefore, their words have gravity. So Bronnie Ware works in this Palliative Care Home. She was observing a lot of people at the very end of their life, a lot of people who lived their lives, a lot of people who were almost about to die, and she had the idea one day, to undertake a survey and ask these people what was your biggest regret? What is your biggest regret about your life now that you’re at the point where you have not that much time remaining? How do you feel about the journey? How do you feel about the bigger picture? If you could go back, what would you change? What are your main regrets? And, of course, regrets is another word for things that we would change. It’s a term which can mean things that we wish we could go back and do differently. So therefore, really, if we’re in a place where we can’t go back in time because nobody can go back in time there is no such thing as a time machine then the only real way we can change these things prospectively is when we still have the time to do it, therefore, when we have the opportunity right now, before we’ve reached that point. A regret is something that you wish that you had done differently and that you wish that you could go back in time and change, or at least if you could go back in time, you would change it and you would do it differently. That’s literally what a regret is. So, therefore, when these people are retrospectively saying, these are my regrets, actually that is a prospective version of us speaking about the things that they like to do differently today. Here’s the cool thing we are still in that time. We still have the opportunity to change these things, or at least most often. So when we hear these things out loud, really we’re talking to a future version of ourselves, or really we’re talking to someone who represents something similar to a future version of ourselves ourselves voicing their opinions. Now, anyway, I’ve done enough pretense on this survey. I’ve done enough pretense on what these regrets are. Everybody gets it and everybody gets what they mean whenever we talk about them as well, and also the significance of them, too, and also how amazing an opportunity we currently have right now to be able to ensure that we’re not saying these things whenever it comes to the end of our lives. So let’s go ahead and look at the top five regrets of the day. Regret number one I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Regret number two I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Regret number three I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Regret number four I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Regret number five I wish that I had let myself be happier. Just gonna give everybody a moment to digest those. These are the voices of people who have lived lives which are not dissimilar from ours anyway. In fact, they’re entirely. They’re entirely the opposite of that. They’re entirely similar. They represent the thoughts of each and every one of us whenever we reach that age. Now, of course, we might not necessarily think exactly the same as them, but here’s the thing In likelihood we’ll be very similar. And if we’re going to operate out of an odds principle, well, on that basis, really, in reality, there’s a good chance that if we continue to think about things the way that we do presently, continue to go about our lives and think and do the same as everybody else, have the same thoughts, listen to the same parts for psyche, listen to the same parts for subconscious, whether those be things that are enable us or inhibit us. Well, chances are we’ll be saying these things at the end of our life because, remember, these are average people, these are people that represent society. These are the people that represent us. Therefore, we know that if we think the same as everybody else, we think the same as society, and we do the same things and we have the same thoughts and we act in the same way, then chances are, this is what the outcome will be at the end of life. And, of course, it’s important to remember, we’re focusing on their regrets for the moment. There’ll be a lot of stuff in there that’s amazing as well. There’ll be a lot of stuff in there that means that they are happy, and there’ll be a lot of things that they are well, they believe are good decisions at that point. But all we’re doing right now is focusing on the regrets, because these are where there is some real wisdom to be yielded. These are where there is some real wisdom or insight into how we’re going to think a little further down the line. What is wisdom? The definition of wisdom is undertaking actions which are likely to yield long term success. Wisdom is a really cool word and that is a really cool definition for the word wisdom, and whenever I started to see wisdom in that way, I was like, ah, so really, what I want to do is I want to undertake as many actions in the hearing now which are going to yield me positive results in the long term, because you can see things from up top. You can see things from that higher perspective. You’re not just operating in the hearing now, in the thick of it, in the weeds, so to speak. You can elevate yourself beyond the foliage that you can see around. You can elevate yourself around. You can elevate yourself beyond the obstructions that you see right here, right now in front of you. You can see around corners, so to speak. That’s what wisdom is. Wisdom is understanding what is the correct and most efficient path for you to achieve your goal, whatever that is, because unless you have, if you don’t have wisdom, what it might mean is that you’re exploring different options in order to get to that point, but you have no real understanding of which option is going to ensure that you get there in the most efficient manner, or which option will mean which path that you can take that will mean that you can get to your goal in the quickest fashion and you won’t have to go about rectifying things or backtracking or going back down the road that you came, because you know it is completely lined with your goal or objective. Therefore, if you can see things from up top, if you can see from around those corners, if you can see around those corners, then what it means is you can get there in the fastest possible way. That’s what this knowledge is. That’s what this knowledge is right here and that’s why this is wisdom. According to that definition of wisdom depends how you define wisdom, but for me, I thought that was a really cool definition whenever I heard it. Wisdom is consistently undertaking the actions which are most likely to yield you long term success and get you to your goal in the greatest efficient manner, in the most efficient manner, in the greatest, in the smoothest possible way, rather so, like I say. Back to the five regrets of the dying, let’s analyze them one by one and go through it. I wish I had the courage to live a life truly myself, not the life others expected of me. That’s number one. Well, to me, this is a lot about comfort zones, because it’s really really, really easy to go with the flow, despite how you feel on the inside. It’s really really really easy to accept the reality that’s thrust upon you by others, because others will thrust an identity on you unless you actively choose to decline that identity and choose to go your own way. Now it’s certainly so easy to acquiesce to that from the point of view that, as I say, we want to go with the flow and there’s that people pleasing side to our character. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, what we really want to do as much as possible is make decisions which are completely free from that fear of judgment of others, because we know that those are going to be aligned as much as possible with what truly makes us happy. And that, for me, is exactly what this first observation is, or this first regret is. I wish I had the courage to live a life truly myself. Because what is courage? Courage is overcoming fear. Courage is the ability to step outside of your comfort zone. Courage is the thing that is going to propel you forwards to achieve amazing things in your life, because everything cool, in my opinion, everything cool in this world Lies outside of her comfort zone, lies on the opposite side of fear. So that’s what this reflection is. For me it is, it is. It is reflection that observes that they consistently or not or at least not, maybe not consistently, but maybe not as much as they would have liked they didn’t step outside of their comfort zone as much they would have liked to, and what that meant was that they accepted the reality of others, trust upon them, whether that be Working conditions, whether that be unfavorable situations domestically, whether that be unfavorable situations in a friendship circle, whatever. That is what they really regret, at least in my analysis of this office, of the office number. This first one, this first Regret of the dying, the main one, the top one, is that they didn’t have a cross step out night. In the moment, that is very tough to do. It’s not easy to step outside of a comfort zone because it is scary. But for me, the biggest reframe here is the understand that if I consistently don’t lean into that fear, if I just consistently accept that reality, then one day it’s gonna lead to an even bigger pain, which is the fact that I’m gonna regret this so, so much whenever I don’t have the opportunity to go back and fix it, and the second that I think to myself okay, now of these two options, of these two options that are in front of me, but don’t change this and I am gonna regret it a little further down the line when I don’t have the opportunity to change it. And for me, actually, because that pain is so messy great, when I put myself in the shoes of that individually feels that way all of a sudden, the comparative pain of stepping outside the comfort zone in that moment, or the comparative fear that I have to overcome looks way easier all of a sudden. One thing that I think is really cool is that change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. So you’re just reframing the moment, you’re reframing that decision for yourself and understand that if you don’t take that decision, it’s gonna lead to even greater pain further down the line. Therefore, comparatively, this is more straightforward decision, given that, relatively speaking, that is the easier option. The easier option is just to take action in the moment, step outside of your comfort zone, lean into the fear and achieve the thing, whatever it is that you want to do, so that you know that when you can look back that you won’t have this regret, the top regret off the dying. That’s how it feels in the moment. That’s why these things happen. That’s why people have these regrets, because For me it’s about it’s about them consistently accepting, then not having the perspective to realize that how their actions in the moment in which they accept comfort. They didn’t have that perspective in the here and now. They didn’t have the perspective at the time and they only have a little further along in life. Therefore, it is their regret that they didn’t have that courage at the time. Therefore, we now understand what we need to do to alleviate the possibility of us having this regret as much as possible. Regret number two I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Again, it really depends on our goals, really depends on our objectives, depends how we define work. For me, I suppose, if you really enjoy what you do in any given moment, then what it means is you’re never really quite working. So, to me, finding the thing that really lights you up, finding the thing that really excites you and devoting as much time as possible is going to be the way that you alleviate this second one. I mean, to me it all comes back to being able to devote as much time to that as you possibly can. Now, if it is the case that we’re in the clinic six, seven days a week and we don’t necessarily want to be there, we’d rather be doing something else, then we have to really think to ourselves okay, how can I get myself to a point where I have enough income from the clinic on two days a week, three days a week, versus what I was previously earning on five, six days, seven days? If I can just simply enhance my income and get myself to a point where I have the output that I desire from my clinical dentistry, I have perfect balance and I can do more of the things that I enjoy in any given moment, and for me, number two will be mitigated. Of course, this is all just my opinion and this is what I can see, and I’m sure other people will look at these regrets and think to themselves hmm, I actually see it from a completely different perspective, james, but what I am sharing with everybody is my personal reflections on how I plan to ensure that I do not feel this way whenever I inevitably am on my own deathbed, and I’m hoping that somebody somewhere listening can benefit from the logic and wisdom that I’ve got on offer here. Of course, this will not be completely aligned with everybody’s perspective and some people might think to themselves well, do you know what, james? I could see it from a different angle, or I don’t agree with that. Completely cool, and I, honestly, would be all ears to hear if someone else can see something or hear something that I’ve missed. But, like I say, these are the things that leap out at me and this is my personal plan, so to speak, as to how I intend to avoid feeling like this as I approach the end of my life and years and days on this earth. Number three I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. I mean, again, for me this comes back to the comfort zone thing. It’s all about figuring out. It’s all about figuring out how you feel, what is most aligned with your inner essence in so far as what are your true thoughts on a particular subject or on a particular topic, and then working back from there and understanding why you may not feel that you can necessarily express that Now, there may be a reason why that you’re unable to do that, there may be some mitigating factor, but at least if you’ve isolated how you truly feel, that is the best place to start, rather than the other way around. A lot of people. What they will do from my observations is that they will allow the external world to determine how they feel about something and they’ll, in a way, shield themselves from their own inner essence, their own thoughts, their own opinions on a matter, because they don’t feel like those necessarily fit in with what others think around them, whereas if we can do it the other way around, at least we’re a little bit closer to the mark. Regret number four I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends. Yeah, I mean. Again, it comes down to goals and objectives, I think having some sort of routine where you take the time to reach out to a friend every single week and just touch base with them and say something to them, whoever it is making a note of people’s birthdays. People really value that, they feel really valued whenever they know that you’re there in your sphere of consciousness, that you’re making the effort on that front. Maybe it’s about having some sort of routine whenever it comes to staying in touch with people, because to me, like a lot of things, it’s just about putting in the reps, at least to a degree, the reps being making the effort. We have a routine for lots of things in our life. We have a routine for the gym, we have a routine that we eat, we have a routine that we go to work. So maybe it’s about implementing something like that into your routine as well, which is often something that you don’t hear about as well. And, of course, a lot of people might think that and think well, how mechanical is that, how rigid is that? I do hear what you mean. I hear what you mean entirely on that front. But here’s the thing if most people feel that way, and most people feel like doing something like that is superfluous and a little bit, a little bit insincere, a little bit fake or I don’t know whatever label people choose to use to ascribe to that well, for me, the fact that most people probably look at it that way is also the reason why Most people tend to feel like they haven’t stayed in touch with their friends throughout the course of their life. Maybe it’s because they have no methodology to do not. They just leave it a little bit To the chance to fit, and maybe it’s that consistency that means that they feel like this towards the end of their life. So something I’ve been doing recently is, once a week, just reaching out to somebody that I know there’s no consistent routine or pattern to it. I just try to do it, make a note of it and I’ll mention them and I’ll say, hey, it’s been a while, how are you? How’s it going something along those lines and just rekindling that friendship and at least you’re putting in some sort of consistent effort to it. And for me I feel like hopefully that’s going to mitigate things or that’s going to really, really help on this front. I can’t say for sure. I can never say for sure until I get there. And number five I wish I had let myself be happier. So, again, this comes from giving ourselves permission to be happy in the moment, rather than delegating that to some future version of ourselves. How do we figure out how we can be happy in the moment will? For me, it starts with understanding what is our perfect balance in life in terms of what would we really really really like to spend all our time doing and then work back from there effectively, because really, in an ideal world of, nothing else was a consideration. Then that would be how your life would look. That is what you would do all day. Maybe you would just go to restaurants, or maybe you go to the beach. Maybe you’d actually still like to go to work Seven days a week. However that looks, that’s fine. You like what you like and there should be no apologies for that whatsoever. So for me, this comes back to understand and what it is that actually makes us happy and then give us. Giving ourselves to be happy, giving ourselves to be happy in the moment, giving ourselves permission to be happy in the moment, rather than saying, oh, I’ll be happy when I get this, or I’ll be happy when I retire, or I’ll be happy when I get this specific thing for me. There is no law of the universe that says that we have to delegate happiness, some future version of ourselves. I feel it’s a trick of our subconsciousness to a degree that we feel like we have to be on a specific path, that we feel like we have to be actively contributing towards something and that requires sacrifice in the here and now. That’s not necessarily true, because what if you enjoy making progress on the journey? What if you enjoy the activities that allow me to make progress, that overall go? There’s no reason that you don’t necessarily have to enjoy those activities. Most people sacrifice Today for tomorrow. Most people sacrifice the journey for the destination whenever it comes to finance. What am I talking about? I’m talking about sacrificing Our time, our energy or happiness, maybe to go to a job that we do not necessarily enjoy as much as we could, in order to earn money, in order to contribute towards our retirement portfolio, so that we can one day inverted commas be happy Again. Like I say, if you want to achieve financial freedom, that’s not the only way. There’s a lot more ways to be free, and really it starts with understanding and accepting that that is possible, rather than rather than denying that, rather than us saying to ourselves actually, I’m going to keep putting this off continuously, time and time again, until I hopefully reach retirement age, in which case I’m finally allowed to be happy whenever I’m 65 years of age, or at least that’s the conventional wisdom anyway. Naturally, a lot of people hearing that will disagree with that. However, that’s the spoon fed narrative that we’re provided, and for me, I just don’t necessarily think that’s true. I think that you can enjoy the moment and you can also make suitable provisions for the future, but what I will agree, what I will say is 100% for for certain, is that you really have to give yourself permission to find that reality, because if you don’t believe it and you don’t think it’s true, well then you’ll just you’ll. You’ll subconsciously believe that nothing else can be true than your current reality. Therefore, you’ll never actually welcome that knowledge and information into your life as to how that’s achieved, unless you at least believe and understand that it’s possible first, which starts with the permission thing, and at least that’s my interpretation of that fifth regret of the dying, which is I wish I’d let myself be happier and like I say all of those things that I was talking about just then. Those are the top five regrets of the dying. They are 100% my interpretation. A lot of this podcast I’ve done off the cuff. When I read these for the first time, you know, I looked at them and I thought, okay, how can I avoid this one? How can I put certain conditions and how can I ensure that this doesn’t happen? How can I implement certain conditions so that the odds of this regret are as little as possible? And those were my interpretation of the top five regrets of the dying and also the measures that I implemented into my life to reduce the likelihood of them occurring as much possible. You can never say for sure, but what you can do is at least try to take measures to reduce the likelihood of them occurring as much as possible and then therefore hopefully welcome a lot more happiness into your life in the here and now and also ensure that, when it does get towards the end of your life, that you’re in a place where you can look back and say, wow, I really, really, really had an amazing time on this earth and know that the curtains are drawing. At least I can say I was happy.