“I wish I didn’t work so hard” — One of the Top Regrets of the Dying

“On our deathbeds, we would never regret not having worked that extra day in the office. But we will indeed regret not having worked on more understanding with our loved ones when we could.” – Family Expert Hellen Chen

Matchmaker Hellen Chen

(Above: A happy matchmaker with no regrets — Hellen Chen smiling as she sees another couple tie the knot.)

During the Donate Life Month, we are once again reminded of the value of life and how becoming a registered organ donor could help another person extend their life – a single life saved which in turn affects the lives of his immediate family and his continued contribution to more lives in society.

Bronnie Ward, an Australian nurse who has spent time with patients during their last several weeks of life, wrote an article last year called “the top 5 regrets of the dying” based on the conversations she had with her patients.

After compiling the answers, Ward said that among the most common regrets expressed by the patients were:

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’d had the courage to express my feelings.

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

4. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

She also wrote about one regret: I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This sentiment came from mostly male patients that she has nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most women she has nursed were from a generation where they had not been breadwinners,  there were less who mentioned it.

She wrote, “All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

Family and relationship expert Hellen Chen, agreed, “The deepest regret that I have heard has been men and women missing out on the most important part of life: the quality of their relationship in a marriage and/or with their children. I hear that from top CEOs, to doctors, to hardworking professionals ”

Wanting to share her experience with the public at large and reminding people not to be so caught up in their pursuit of personal goals that they missed out on relationships, Chen documented the stories of the different couples she has helped in her  book “The Matchmaker of the Century” which later became a bestseller on Barnes and Noble.

To inspire singles, divorcees and married couples to not give up on working on the happiness of their relationship, Chen published a recent letter from her husband of over 20 years on her blog MatchmakerOfTheCentury.com.

“No one is born to be a natural wife or husband. Failures do not mean you cannot try again.” said Chen.

“On our deathbeds, we would never regret not having worked that extra day in the office. But we will indeed regret not having worked on more understanding with our loved ones when we could.” Chen added.

To bring her message about living life with no regrets to more people, Chen gets on over 200 international media interviews and publications and also actively held training workshops to teach singles and couples how to improve the quality of love in their life.

Her next workshop specially to assist working professionals ‘with no time,’ especially those who has a desire to learn how to improve their love life or family life but could never find the chance to learn it, will be held in Los Angeles.

Attendees have flown from all around the US and even overseas to attend. This workshop is important for those who have decided to put relationships as a priority and enjoy it while achieving more in their careers.”

“After all, when we have reached the height of our career, who do we have in our life to share it with? Why not work on this invisible wealth – the love of the people who are truly close to you – right now?” smiled Chen.

More information of the workshop can be found on http://matchmakerofthecentury.com/hellen-chens-love-seminar/


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Hellen Chen’s marriage and family principles have been featured in over 200 media publications and in 18 countries.

Hellen Chen in the media


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