“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This, according to Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware, is the most common regret of the dying. Bronnie, who worked for many years caring for people in the last weeks of their lives, recorded their dying epiphanies in her moving book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.’ It wasn’t a want of success, or wealth, or experiences that left their mark. The biggest regret for the majority facing the end of their days was that they hadn’t lived a life true to who they were; they hadn’t gone after their dreams, instead letting others’ expectations define their success and dictate their choices. While we might avoid the thought of our own mortality – especially during our 20s and 30s – there’s nothing like a date with death, as I like to call it, to cut through all the noise and reveal what truly matters. In my own life, a cancer diagnosis in my 30s left me wrestling with this question sooner than I would have thought, although looking back now I can see how that experience has served me well. I know that I am one of the lucky ones to have come through it. While that, thankfully, is not an experience the majority of you will have had, the fact is we’re all here for a limited amount of time and simply by imagining what we might look back on – what we might value – at the moment of our own death, can give us a powerful insight into how we can live a fuller, better life now. Looking at your life through the prism of your own mortality can help you see where you might be letting someone else define what success looks like for you, or where you’re slogging to keep up the pace, although you know it’s not making you happy. It can expose the dreams you’ve put aside because you were worried about what others might think or say, or worried that you might fail, and help you imagine what might be possible for you, in your career and your relationships, if you found the courage to be truly authentic. As Bronnie so eloquently put it: ‘Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” So, why not realise it? By fostering that vision of yourself at the end of your time here, looking back with satisfaction at a truly authentic life in which you made brave decisions to be true to yourself, you can unlock the fears which hold you back now, and tap into the power already in your hands. Go ahead and book a date with death, and see if you can prevent the most common regret of the dying being yours one day too.