I recently read a blog that a friend had sent to me earlier this morning, it taught me a lot about myself, moved me and cause me to share this blog post with everyone I know. It’s about a nurse who talks about some of the top regrets most people have when on their deathbed. I’m far from old but I believe there is a blessing in learning from other people’s mistakes that we don’t have to make ourselves. 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.

I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what  others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

 Life is a choice, it is your life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness. 

It was November 28th 2012, that I spent a night at the House of Commons, Parliament, for the Great Debate Tour Finale and what an experience it was.

The Great Debate Tour is the first national debate forum targeting at cultural communities on UK Universities campuses across the UK. The tour is a celebration of diversity and heritage as well as a forum for powerful, thought provoking discussion.

I decided to get involved with the Great Debate Tour by bringing the tour straight to my University for the first time. My Enterprise Society collaborated with the African Caribbean Society, Law Society of Middlesex University and once I told the Student Union they couldn’t help but be involved in such a big event.

Being at the House of Commons was so inspiring, the venue itself is breath taking and I was just taken aback by how beautiful it is inside there.  Just imagine being surrounded in a room full of MPs, leaders and FUTURE leaders. Inspired? I think so.

The tour made me realise that young people of my generation are continuously breaking the mould, achieving things that were never done before despite the negative stereotypes that the media continues broadcast. The media will always look to overshadow young people’s achievements with stereotypical, gloomy headlines in the media. Despite that there is a growth in number of young people continuing to do great things, just look at the Spirit of London Awards as a great example of this.

If there is anything I can take from this experience are a few wise words from Reverend Rose the Commons Chaplin;

No limitations rule my effort,

I will excel, I will achieve,

I must not settle for less,

I have the potential for greatness,

So do not allow others to set standards for you,

Rather set the standards for yourself.

Keep those words from Reverend Rose and say it yourself every day and believe it!

–       Kelvin Miles

Like the rest of us, we all have dreams of fulfilling and goals we would like to achieve which is a great thing. As for me I want to live my life to the full, doing things I’ve always dreamed of doing but haven’t quite had the chance to, so I am going to set myself a challenge and finally do it!

Project 50 is basically my to do list of all the 50 things I want to do in the next 5 years, yes I’m writing them down so that when people ask me “have you done it yet?” I want to be able to say “yes”. Now of course I am going to do the best I can at University and of course I am going to stick to my day job on the side but I feel like while I am young and able let me give it a go and who knows what may happen out of it.

This is the list of things I want to do in the next 5 years, some absolutely bonkers, some fun, some are my personal targets and the rest are just ideas that I just randomly threw in.
(P.S I’ve added some I’ve already done)

1. Go to Old Trafford and watch a Man United Game
2. Go skiing
3. Sky Dive
4. Become a wise mentor for a Fresher doing my course. Tell them what I wish I’d known
5. Learn another language
6. Model at a fashion show ✔
7. Start a conga at University
8. Become president of a society ✔
9. Get a job at the cinema ✔
10. Visit New York
11. Walk the Wall of China
12. Randomly give a waiter a huge tip
13. Scuba dive
14. See the Grand Canyon
15. Go to the 2016 Olympics/Paralympics
16. Visit South Africa and go on a real wild safari
17. Be featured in a newspaper
18. Have my own business
19. Swim with dolphins
20. Throw a party and invite all my friends ✔
21. Have my portrait painted
22. Learn to roller blade
23. Teach less fortunate and illiterate kids how to read
24. Visit a haunted house at night with a few of my mates
25. Find a job I love
26. Fart loudly in a library ✔
27. Go deep sea fishing and eat my catch
28. Create my own website
29. Visit Israel
30. Run a marathon
31. Reflect on my greatest weakness and realise how it is your greatest strength
32. Be an extra in Eastenders
33. Grow a beard
34. Ride a camel into the desert
35. Buy a suit from Saville Row
36. Host a radio show ✔
37. Go mountain climbing
38. Visit Las Vegas
39. Go snowboarding
40. Learn to make a mixed cocktail
41. Climb the O2 ✔
42. Graduate
43. Water Skiing
44. Learn to somersault
45. Discover my life’s purpose
46. Handbrake turn a car while traveling over 30mph
47. Quad Biking in the Dunes
48. Take a Cross-Country Road trip
49. Raise money for charity ✔
50. Throw a snowball at my dad

 

On the 28th and 29th of April was the weekend that changed my life, it was the NACUE 2012 Leaders Training Conference, which was the beginning of something exciting and a new chapter for me in my career as I look to press on and make my mark on this world as a leader.

The conference brought together enterprise society leaders from across the country to connect, inspire and equip them for the academic year ahead. The Delegates (known as enterprise leaders) met incredible keynote speakers, attended essential skills-building workshops, split into regional groups to develop strategies for growing enterprise, and network with enterprise societies from around the world.

 

Image

2012 is an exciting time for NACUE, NLTC marks NACUE’s 3rd birthday, and over the last three years they’ve seen existing societies go from strength to strength, and new ones spring up on campuses up and down the country.

But before this, me and a friend took the initiative to start up a society in the university which will provide opportunities for students to boost employability skills and also have the access to resources that can aid their endeavours. So we approached NACUE, with our enthusiasm, our plan and we’re invited immediately to this exclusive event and it proved to be an experience of a life time.

I had the privilege of meeting passtionate young student entrepreneurs, their stories really inspired and encouraged me to make an impact not just within my institution, community, the UK but the world. I was trained by skilled professionals adapting new skills within the space of 2 days, it was a lot to take in but I can say I am more equipped as a leader than I was before I came to the event. 

Image

Image

Image

The only negative was that the weekend had to come to an end, but I did network and until today have kept in touch with some incredible leaders who are soon to make their mark. Now my society is up and running in my university and I am excited and ready for what the new academic year is going to bring. 

I would like to say a big thank you to Richard Kuti for giving me the opportunity to attend the event and for his encouragement plus words of advice, which is a big help.

One word of advice, keep people around who will continue to support and encourage you, those kinds of people will help you elevate you to the next level.

The older I get, the more wiser I become, I always thought it was like that with most people who learn from their past experiences in order to not make the same mistakes. One thing that I have learnt is that we are an advertisement of ourselves believe it or not. It is the main reason why first impressions are important not only the first impressions on the physical appearance but also a long lasting impression left on the person that counts the most.

Some people seriously just did not learn as they get older, no offence not trying to sound rude or anything but some people are just a bad advertisement of themselves, a very bad advertisement, so bad you have to look at the person and just think “what is going on there?”

People always judge regardless (I am not talking about judging the individual but looking at the physical appearance of the person by what they wear to get an idea of kind of person they are) so it is important to make sure that you present yourself in such a positive manner, if not then do not expect to hear positive things about yourself from others. How you treat yourself, is definitely the same way others will treat you its a simple as that especially if you dont respect yourself enough no one will!

Do not mistake being a good advertisement for having a lot of friends, being popular or because of that large sums of cash in your account, or that new car or because of your good looking bf/gf but in my opinion what makes a you a good advertisement is your character.

You know that kind of character that is a leader, always positive, good sense of humour, confident, optomistic, kind, calm even in their ‘storms’, even just being around them is a joy in itself. These kinds of qualities will be evident by everyone who knows the person who has these attributes, so much so that the person does not have to always big themselves up like most people do, it will just be there naturally be displayed without one putting it on.

First impressions are crucial, just think about the next future impressions you have to make on your :

Future Husband/Wife

Future Graduate Job

Future Clients

New people you will meet

Think carefully about this, it’s important…

Welcome aboard to my blog where I’ll be posting regular blogs on what I am doing in my spare time while building a career in marketing, any interesting news I have come across and I’ll sometimes write down my thoughts as they are.

My thoughts do not represent anyone I work for so they are obviously mine and mine alone so do take them with a pinch of salt.

So continue reading on my journey as there are pretty exciting stuff happening and I can’t wait to share them.

Happy reading guys.

Signed KM.