What’s a Perfect Life?

How would you define a perfect life? Then how would you get it?

There’s a blog called Inspiration and Chai where a former palliative care worker has created a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Bronnie Ware, in her work with the dying found there were five themes running through their list of regrets as life drew to a close.

  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 I had let myself be happier.

The list even now provides an uncomfortable reality check with the feeling that I too could get to the final boarding call with a few of those regrets in my excess baggage.

How do you then go about crafting a life that will give you peace and happiness while living and the certainity of ending with no regrets?

It seems the odds are stacked against us in the modern world. We now operate on a 24/7 cycle. Shops open 7 days a week late into the night. The internet (and we love the internet) demands immediate attention with little sympathy for those who step away from the keyboard (even for a short period of time) and fall behind in the information game. Two incomes now seem a necessity (although perhaps we have just structured our lives to incorporate two incomes creating a strait-jacket for ourselves).

Time seems rushed. Money seems less. Friends live further apart. Work seems more demanding.

My perfect life would look something like this:

  • Everyone healthy and happy.
  • Enough money to comfortably pay the bills, finish and furnish the house and enjoy some special holiday experiences.
  • Flexibility in our working lives.
  • The opportunity to write, and write and write and see where that ended up.
  • Many, many more meet-ups with friends local and distant, with lots of photos and some great blog posts to come out of it.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility, and I have taken steps to get there. I work part-time. I’ve got my Project 44 I’m working on. I’m blogging to get myself into the habit of writing. Although it still feels challenging with road blocks often appearing to getting what I want.

How would you picture your perfect life? How will you avoid regrets?


  1. says

    You have got me thinking… What does my perfect life look like? Now that I am retired and free to explore the world without the restrictions of work, |I am perfectly content and happy. I don’t have a lot of money and that is ok. I have family and friends and a great husband who puts up with me. I guess i am happy. YEAH I am happy!!

  2. says

    Someone once said to me ‘You can do anything in your life as long as you can live with the aftermath’ Is that the clue to a perfect life? I don’t know. But I do know that I am happy. I choose to be happy…..

  3. says

    happy weekend, janine – i can see how those regrets could happen. but i love to work hard – my work is a calling. and i let myself be happy as soon as i have enough sleep. without sleep, forget it – NOT happy! i hope you find lots of time to write. we’re at a very busy moment in our lives, but i wouldn’t have it any other way. joy to you!

  4. says

    Great food for thought, Janine.
    I also hope to live my life with few regrets… for me, I think any regrets I have will be the result of selfish choices. I feel like I”m happiest when I feel like I’ve done something meaningful for someone else. Often it seems like I’ll be happier if I put myself first, but usually it’s a bit hollow. (I don’t mean that I don’t nap, or buy myself clothes, or do things I enjoy – no hairshirt here). It just seems like things done for others last longer, if you know what I mean.

  5. says

    Very thought provoking post.
    I’m retired now and enjoying that part of my life. I’m not sure if it’s age related…but I do express my feelings more now than when I was younger! I’m very happy volunteering, working on my photography, and reading more books! I now have more time to keep in better touch with far away and local friends. And I enjoy traveling and being with my family. I’m happy! 😉

  6. says

    I’ve just discovered your comment on my blog which has now lead me to discover you! Gosh, what good questions you ask. I think we have a great deal to learn from the answers from the dying – that perspective is gold. I often think about tough decisions in terms of the “death bed” perspective – ie. on my death bed will I be glad that I paid off my mortgage in X amount of years or that I spent some money on travelling and truly enjoying the world?

    I like your list of a perfect life. Great things to aim for. And so important to think about what we want from life.

  7. meifang zhu says

    a perfect life, means for me will be have a peaceful inside and have a free soul. believe in god and love the person beside.
    i know it is sound very abstract to say, but it probably also can be said as a status of mind in the moment i live.
    sometimes i afraid the moment of dying, that sense of fear reminds me i need live in the moment at the most

  8. says

    Nice post. Whatever you do there will be some regrets in life. because if you change your life now then also in the end you will think, I wish I have done that early..:) That’s Life. Live it Loud.

  9. says

    This has also got me thinking like many of the other comments… what is the perfect life? What are we all striving for in order to achieve it? Are we meant to fulfill the expectations society has set for leading ‘the perfect life’, i.e. good education, god career, marriage, children… will that combination make us happy? Is it the correct way to lead a perfect life? Very interesting and thought provoking blog post! 🙂

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