In a US-based study, dying people were asked about their regrets, if any. The top five regrets were:

• I wish I had the courage to live a life I wanted to live and not what others expected me to live.

• I wish I had worked harder.

• I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

• I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

• I wish I had let myself be happier.

Regrets are always based on suppression of emotions or non–fulfillment of desires and needs. These need–based desires can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. Therefore, regrets can be at any of these levels.

I did a survey of 15 of my patients and asked them a simple question that if they came to know that they are going to die in the next 24 hours, what would be their biggest regret?

Only one of them, who was a doctor, said that she would have no regrets. The physical regret was only one and that was from a Yoga expert who said that her regret was not getting married till that day.

Mental regrets were two.

• A state trading businessman said, “I wish I could have taken care of my parents.”

• A homeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have given more time to my family.” Intellectual Regrets were three.

• A lawyer said, “I wish I could have become something in life.”

• A businessman said, “I wish I could have helped more people.”

• A retired revenue inspector said, “I wish had married my younger child.” Egoistic regrets were two.

• One fashion designer said, “I wish I could have become a singer.”

• A housewife said, “I wish I could have become a dietician.” Spiritual regrets were six.

• A Consultant Government Liaison officer said, “I wish I could have made my family members happy.”

• A businessman said, “I wish I could have meditated more.”

• A Homeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my family.”

• A reception executive said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my parents.”

• An entertainment CEO said, “I wish I could have taken my parents for a pilgrimage.”

• A fashion designer said, “I wish I could have worked more for the animals.”