No one has a more insightful perspective on life than those nearing its end. Experiencing the final sands trickle from life’s hourglass permits the dying a unique position of reflection.
For the past thirteen years, Tenzin Kiyosaki has served as an interfaith hospice chaplain at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. She recently published a book about her experiences counseling hospice patients who have less than six months to live titled The Three Regrets.
In the book, Kiyosaki outlines the three most common regrets she hears hospice patients express at the end of their lives:
- I did not live my life dreams.
- I did not share my love.
- I did not forgive.
When I read Kiyosaki’s list, an immediate thought came to me: Good teammates don’t have those regrets.
Good teammates experience challenges, failure, and heartbreak the same as everyone else, yet when their hourglasses run out of sand, they are at peace with themselves. They aren’t haunted by regrets, unresolved issues, or bitterness because their lives have been guided by a simple formula: Service leads to purpose. Purpose leads to happiness. Happiness leads to wholeness.
Serving the needs of their team allowed them to live a purpose-driven life, filled with happiness. When dreams are stripped of materialism and boiled down to their most basic premise, dreams are about achieving happiness. Biochemically, the human body does not differentiate between the happiness that comes from marrying the person of your dreams, landing the job of your dreams, owning the house of your dreams, or traveling to the destinations of your dreams.
In other words, living a happy life equates to living your life dreams.
Sharing is a basic tenet of being a good teammate. Good teammates share every element of their existence: possessions, time, knowledge, and—of course—love. They never withhold their love nor pass on opportunities to convey it. Hence, they have no regrets about sharing their love.
The same is true of forgiveness. A conscious commitment to being empathetic lets good teammates forgive. They don’t hold grudges nor hold onto anger. They forgive transgressions (including their own) and move on without regret.
The metaphor of sands running out of an hourglass isn’t exclusive to the end of life. That metaphor can apply to the end of a game, the end of a season, the end of a career, the end of a relationship, etc. For good teammates, every one of those situations ends with a feeling of inner peace—because they know they did their best for their teams.
Tenzin Kiyosaki has seen the difference between individuals who approach the end with agitation compared to those who approach the end with peace of mind. Her motivation for writing her book and sharing her discoveries is to help people become more aware of the inevitable arrival of “the end” and to encourage people to live a life free of the three most common regrets.
My motivation for sharing this post is to help you realize that being a good teammate is how you steer clear of those regrets. Life’s hourglass cannot be turned over and started again. But you can change the quality of sands that flow through your hourglass at any point by choosing to enjoy the journey and doing your best to be a good teammate for however long the journey may last.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.