When I first heard Leo Tolstoy’s story about the death of Ivan Ilyich, it shook me to a core. A vivid image kept flashing inside a mind as if witnessing this tragedy in a reality. A scene which haunts me until a current day.
Maybe because it brought into memory the fearful faces of dear relatives I saw in their last moments. Or could be that I myself, for years, walked my path feeling as a failure in life..
Every contact with failure sparked a desire to understand why we fail at life. But more importantly, why do we choose to live our days in such a way that causes suffering from deathbed regrets in our final hours? Restless questioning and exhausting researches guided me into eye-opening, yet shocking, discoveries.
We do not want to think or talk about death. But we’ll all die, you know that, right? 76% of people regret to have never fulfilled their ideal self. Ignoring these facts while sleepwalking through our days will only increase the chances to ending this journey in a very sad way.
It takes courage and childish curiosity to question everything. Since you’re here, questioning, I salute a genius mind still breathing alive inside of you! And hope that my insights into why WHY WE FAIL AT LIFE will help find the answers that you might be seeking for today.
While I’m not claiming my views represent a holy-truth, I can promise you’ll not find this topic explained in such vivid detail anywhere else. It’ll make sense and inspire you to examine your own journey. All statements are supported by statistics, science, lifetime observations, years of self-mastery and regrets in life studies.
Take your time to review. Then see for yourself if you agree.
William V Vysniauskas
100% of us came to this world as pure human beings with a natural tendency to be generous and kind [1.1]. A study by NASA also shows that 98% of us are born geniuses [1.2]. Bright opportunities for a creative future ahead?
But then the adult rules, social norms and educational systems steps in. “Do this”. “Don’t do that”. “Join us, or we’ll reject you”. We’re now trained to limit our choices and become the followers.
Confusion and inner-conflict arises. Limiting beliefs, “I’m not worthy, I’m not enough” get deeply rooted-in . The collective mantra is MORE. Adopted routines and habits will unlikely to vary after the age of nine .
Inborn purity is lost, and disconnection from a genius-self takes place.
Identity forms up, and ego flourishes. Demolished self-esteem backfires and turns into a lack. A lack of wellbeing, purpose, enthusiasm, persistence, accountability, or discipline. Negative attitudes, judgement, criticism, procrastination, distractions and excuses become our new companions.
Genius minds at the age of ten stands at 30%. It drops to only 12% by the time we’re fifteen. On the opposite, teenage mental health issues reach 20% .
Graduate. Career. Money. Family. Retirement.
Career. Money. Family. Retirement.
Money. Family. Retirement…
Others are doing it, so it must be right? And so, without deeper questioning we follow.
Genius minds in adults, 2%. Global stress levels, 75% .
We measure ourselves based on the successes or failures of other people, and not on our own defined standards. The ongoing search for the next big thing is fuelled by ever-present greed, fears, worries. “Once I will have more, I’ll be happy”.
Whose goals are we chasing?
Turning our backs on the reality, ignoring the areas of lack. We often choose to close our eyes and sleepwalk through the bright days in darkness. “Why bother. It’ll be okay”.
Whose ways are we living?
We can’t change our birthplace or parents. But we can choose where, and who with, we spend our given days.
Elite sportsmen train with elite coaches and play with elite teammates. They win trophies. On the other hand, 76% of all inmates end up back in jail within five years of their release . Because that’s where they believe to belong.
The environment for majorities in-between?
A list is long. Some percentages are lower, others are higher. But they all add up, and snowballs across the globe. To touch each one of us and take lifetime “prisoners” along the way.
Poor countries, entire nations are sinking in the suffering. While the people who live in richer and healthier countries will score highest on happiness levels .
There are exceptions, of course. But for most of us, our environment and peer pressure have tremendous power to influence how we live our life . And ultimately how we’ll end it.
To end a journey of many years with the words, “What if my whole life has been wrong?” frozen on cold lips is the biggest tragedy imaginable.
We rush through life believing we own our days. But do we really? We hope we’ll never have to face the consequences of the decisions we’re making every step of the way. Yet, we will.
Awareness is only the first step. The statistics, while cannot be blindly trusted, they do try to tell us the important: a risk of spend the final hours suffering from deep, soul-crushing deathbed regrets is huge. “Who am I? Why was I here? I wish I’ve lived up to my ideal self…”
If we’re not living a fulfilling lifestyle of 80%+ our ideal days, we may need to give a question of WHY WE FAIL AT LIFE a more extensive thought. Then listen to a voice inside, screaming at us, encouraging to take actions towards a brighter future.
Why not re-connect with our long-forgotten selves and become the masters of the remaining days? How many have we got left? Who knows, but maybe we shouldn’t waste…
Why keep on following the social norms and everybody else’s ways?
Why take on a 76% chance to end this life with deathbed regrets?