Bronnie Ware: Beyond the 5 Regrets of the Dying

In November 2009, Bronnie Ware published a short essay entitled, Regrets of the Dying.

It was a reflection on the years she worked in palliative care, taking care of people in the final days of their lives.

She had noticed that the same basic set of profound regrets kept coming up, over and over again, as those in her charge would lie waiting for the end, often sharing the deepest parts of themselves.

That short essay exploded online. It was shared, reprinted and read millions of times, leading to an international bestselling book, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, along with a frenzy of attention, travel and the start of a new career as a writer.

Those regrets have since been discussed and deconstructed many times. They are important reminders of what truly matters in life.

But, what about Bronnie?

Who was this Australian artist turned banker turned palliative care-worker? What led her to do such soulful work, in a field so many others could never imagine embracing? What were the deeper drivers, hidden passions, big dreams and, also, profound and dark struggles? What happened to her after the global phenomenon took hold, shaking her existence in a powerful way, both for the better and for the worse? And, what is she up to now?

I asked Bronnie these questions and more when she came to the Good Life Project studios in NYC during a monthlong trip from Australia. The conversation got very real and deeply truthful. She was incredibly generous with both her inner thoughts and beautiful lens on life.

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