Michael O'Brien in Astoria, Oregon

What will you regret?

At the end of May 2014, I was in an off-site meeting with my executive colleagues. Our company had undergone a global restructuring, creating sizable ripples throughout our team. Some leaders were out, and others, including myself, were placed in new roles.


We were deep into discussions with flip charts, post-it notes, and consultant jargon when an epiphany struck me – I realized I didn’t have to stay. 


During a break, I rewatched Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address, where he shared: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life…Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”


It was time to leave. 


My accident had fundamentally changed my relationship with the inevitable. I grew to accept that I wouldn’t live forever and that the end might not be years away, but as I experienced, it could happen today. No longer did I believe that these things happen to other people. 


“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.” – Henry David Thoreau


I love speaking with and studying people who’ve achieved inside out success. A common theme among them was a fear of not living rather than dying. They found a way to dance with the resistant voice that dissuades many, telling them they’re not ready, too __________ whatever, or to wait for the right conditions.


Our journeys differ, but acknowledging that we all share the same destination clarifies what truly matters. It challenges us not to take our breath and health for granted and to focus on living a life worth living, not one “squandered on luxury or carelessness,” as Seneca writes in ‘On The Shortness of Life.’


After returning from the hospital to my executive role, I promised myself that I would resign once I could no longer honor my values. Bronnie Ware, in her book, shared a similar insight. Those in hospice told her their biggest regret was not having the courage to live a life true to themselves rather than what others expected of them.


So, what will you regret at the end of your life? 


It’s a question that is best answered now because you still have time to act before it’s too late. Yes, life today is complicated, but no more so than in past years like 1024, 1854, or 1934. What we all have is this moment, and it’s fleeting. 


So, take that trip, switch jobs, or move to a new city. Write that book, start that podcast, or begin a side hustle. Stop scrolling, start a mindfulness practice, and be present. Enter that race, pin on a number, and let’s do this thing! 


Most people will continue their usual routines this year, which will only leave them aimlessly drifting behind. Don’t make that mistake. If you don’t create the change you seek, someone will do it for you, which would be regrettable.


In October 2021, I paused my podcast and group coaching program to prepare for a cross-country ride across the United States. 


Now that Kintsugi V2.0 has successfully relaunched, it’s time to bring forward V2.0 of my INNER CIRCLE Coaching Program that will start in March because it’s time to act. 


This is a unique opportunity for those without access to company-sponsored coaching, support, and guidance. Join now for a special pre-sale discount and positively impact the world!


Until next week, have fun storming the castle.




P.S. Join our Pause Breathe Reflect Meditation community by downloading our app for free today from Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It’s time to do something nice for yourself.