Will You Regret Not Becoming an Artist?

will you regret not becoming an artist
At the end of your life, will you deeply regret taking the sure and safe path instead of the road less traveled?

Will you live to regret it if you don't follow your dream of being an artist?

At the end of your life, will you deeply regret taking the sure and safe path instead of the road less traveled?

These are challenging questions, I admit. And as an artist, you may or may not have given questions as serious as these much consideration.

But these are issues that should be confronted by adults of any age.

They were issues that confronted Bronnie Ware.

After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself working in palliative care.

Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie's life was transformed.

Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year.

The article and book, also called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year.

The book outlines the top 5 regrets expressed by her dying patients.

What was the number one regret?

"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 honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

Carl Jung once wrote that most of his patients knew the greater truths concerning their lives, but did not live them. And he wrote of these patients that, “Anyone who takes the sure road is as good as dead.”

Are you an artist masquerading as someone else?

Given this all-too-human failing, I wonder how many artists are out there in the world masquerading as doctors, lawyers or stockbrokers?

And I wonder if it is this lifelong masquerade that leads some people to end up regretting the life choices that they made?

Are you an artist masquerading as someone else? Share your story below so others can learn from your experience.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Gary Bolyer

    I agree. That’s a tough truth to face up to and many people don’t. But we always need the inspiration of writers like Jung. It’s one of my favorite quotes.

  2. In principle, I agree. However, there are many ways to be an artist, and many kinds of professions that call for creative skills. I regret that my artist father steered me away from art, but I went on to discover a potential blockbuster drug that is now in clinical trials. As an artist, I may have published a couple children’s books, or prettied up someone’s website. However, I would never have accomplished what I did as a scientist. Never.

  3. Ellen Hinson

    Gary, yes, you will regret not giving your dream a try, be it being an artist or some other dream! I did not realize I wanted to be an artist til late in life. Fifty years ago an art career was not generally to be considered for a woman. I was not taught an appreciation of the arts when I was young. However, since I have been painting almost 40 years now, I do wish that I had put aside my fears of failure and a waste of money and gone for the gold! I have learned from the college of experience. Even twenty years ago I could have opened a gallery of my own. What if I had failed? At least I would have tried and there would be no room for regret. Make a way to accomplish your dreams!

  4. Deb Kennedy

    Thanks Gary. Once again right on. The question for most is can there be a balance- – the pursuit of ‘becoming’ an artist takes a lifetime. After more than 30 years it remains my passion. The building of an art business is another element. Putting our last through college while trying to do both. Never too late, right?

    1. Lindy du Toit

      Thank you Gary for a thought provoking question.
      For me, its not relevant. I have been drawing all my life, from as far back as I can remember. What I can say is this: that my art kept me going, it kept me sane when my life felt worthless. It was my one avenue of escape to a beautiful, creative world where I found peace and happiness. Without my art I am nothing. On many occasions my art was the saving of me when I stood at the crossroads of ending my life, or continuing life under degrading circumstances… At 72 I am still here, and still creating beautiful things that make others happy too. There is nothing like drawing, painting, sculpting. I sign my work Flook (my maiden name) (the sculpting comes in the form of creating flowers, creatures, busts, heads, etc from sugar petal paste, that my daughter and I design)

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