"I've no regrets, I had the life I wanted"

Herve Contrepois

Death tells if you have achieved success in life. This post explains why you need priorities to guide your way in life.

Death tells if you have achieved success in life

This is a very sad week for me, my Father died on Monday. While it was expected it is in any case like a crash on a wall. A moment when I felt defenseless and vulnerable. I write this post to extract some positive thoughts from a negative event.

My dad was ill, pancreatic cancer in terminal phase. Two weeks ago we had some important conversations, the last ones, the ones that are a conclusion to a full life. My dad said to me “I’ve no regrets, I had the life I wanted”. My dad did everything his way, never using a college diploma in finance wanted by his father and becoming a mechanic, not caring about others’ opinion.

At the funeral there were lots of people, friends not seen in 20 years, and even the nurses taking care of him in the last moments. To each he brought something positive, so positive that everyone had a smile under the tears.

This was my first almost physical experience of how important it is to be in harmony with myself. My dad had a clear view of his priorities: who and what was important for him and he lived his life as he wanted creating much more positive impact as a result and being able to say at the end “I’ve no regrets”.

I hope that at the end of my life I will be able to look my son in the eyes and say “I’ve no regrets”.

Thank you for sharing this with me.

4 Steps to create a list of priorities and live without regrets

  1. Put yourself as the first on the list, always.
  2. Select the persons you care about and order them by importance of care.
  3. If you can’t decide between two, think about to which funeral you would go if both were the same day. It worked for me as an intellectual exercise before this week, and works even better today.
  4. Share your priorities with the first 3 people on the list after yourself and update them regularly. This is such an easy way to feel confident, to make the right decisions, and have no regrets.

Update the list regularly to match your current reality.

My priorities as an example

My priorities are:

  1. Me
  2. My wife
  3. My son
  4. Parents
  5. Friends
  6. Team members
  7. The rest


It might sound egocentric but the reality is that if I am not in harmony with myself, I will not be able to concentrate on anyone else on the list. My smile needs to be real for my wife, son and the others to feel good with me and for me with them.

My wife

She is the most important person of my life. I have chosen her and she chose me. It’s worth to dedicate some time every day to her as she is here for life with all the up and downs. She’s my grasp with reality, the one reminding me my priorities when I get too enthusiastic about my next idea.

My son

My son is there in third place, just behind his mum. He’s the second most important person in my life, I feel a duty to prepare him for a future I don’t know or understand. So I stick to what I care about, his happiness. My wife and I are determined to find his talents, his passions and build on that. Not to repeat the mistakes of my grandfather with my dad.


I’m talking, mum, dad, mine and in law. Those are important in childhood for survival but also during the adult life as every advice they give is given with the best intentions in mind. They care a lot.


Those are the very few I really care about, the ones that will always be present when asked for and for whom I’ll always be present. I trust my friends fully and believe that like parents they care and give advices with the best intentions.

Team members

The google definition of a team is “a group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport”.

The game can be a real game, can be life or a project at work. The competitors can be other teams, people, but also time, money and quality. Everyone who works with me toward the same goal is a team member. There are multiple teams and many games.

The rest

Everyone else is here, that’s a lot of people.

First steps

Get your priorities list setup, share it with the first 3 persons on the list after you and try for one week to really follow it. For example if your partner is ahead of work, find something nice to do this week to show her/him how important she/he is.

a bientot

7 Comments on “4 Steps to create a list of priorities and live without regrets”

  1. Coucou Frank ,
    j’ai tout compris , même si je n’ai pas saisi forcément toutes les finesses de la langue, tu as parfaitment exprimé ce qu’était Hervé, son mode de vie et sa personnalité. Et toutes les priorités qui se révèlent dans ces moments-là…
    C’est un très beau texte, merci de me l’avoir envoyé.
    On se revoit bientôt, bises à vous trois
    (après la cafetière Nespresso, la bouilloire electrique a rendu l’âme de même que mon four micro-onde ! Incroyable… Il est où le farceur ?)…

  2. Très bel hommage ! Comme c’est émouvant de sentir tant d’affection contenue dans ces mots. Une fois de plus ton papa serait fier de toi ! au fait d’où il est IL EST FIER DE TOI seulement il est ailleurs… Il a eu besoin de toi les derniers temps et il n’a pas hésité à te le dire… encore une belle action de sa part.
    Quant au farceur il semble t’envoyer un message Aline, toi seule peut le deviner mais chacun a sa petite idée. Confiance prière et affection

  3. souvent il y a peu de de mots qui peuvent exprimer les sentiments qui sont enfuit en nous. ce texte magnifique est ton expression à toi.
    malgré la langue j’ai compris la globalité, prends soin de ta famille comme tu sais bien le faire et surtout que ta famille prenne soin de toi et t’aide dans ses moments.
    je pense à toi d’aussi loin que je soi.

  4. A beautiful tribute indeed. And you live it daily. Thank you for your candor here. It validates the truths.

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