058. The Gift of No Regret to Design Your Life with Kirsty Salisbury

Kirsty Salisbury is a speaker, podcaster and coach who speaks straight from the heart.  Her talks explore the topics of resilience, regrets, and how we can create opportunity through effective habits. She is engaging, inspiring and filled with passion in a way that connects at a personal level.

Throughher own story of overcoming death and paralysis, Kirstyis inspiring many people to make meaningful change in their lives.

Today, Kirsty blends her experience as an established wellness professional, her private coaching business, and her research in the areas of resilience, habits, and long term happiness to help empower others with practical tools and strategies to embrace living at their best. 

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Kirsty loves being active, traveling and spending time with her family.

Kirsty’s powerful personal story of overcoming trauma has become an inspiration to many, and I’m so excited to share this with you in this episode.

Key Points from the Episode with Kirsty Salisbury:

  • Kirsty is a speaker, has three podcasts and has written two books. All of it comes from her personal adventure and helping people live with no regrets and dying well. That last part catches people off guard as they typically think about living well, not dying well.
  • Kirsty had a first hand experience that gave her that perspective.
  • We live with so many regrets, and tend only to face them at the time of death. But throughout our lives, we hold onto it, and it guides so much of what we do and think, and we give up opportunity.
  • We don’t tend to face the things we end up regretting because it’s uncomfortable to do so. We bury it under the carpet and go about our daily lives. But those things we regret interfere with how good our lives can be.
  • Life design is a critical idea, and how choosing our present moments shapes our future moments.
  • As a child, Kirsty had a brain illness where her blood vessels hadn’t formed right in the womb. As a top gymnast, she was about to compete, and she had a brain hemorrhage at age 12, had a tremendous headache, and then couldn’t wake up.
  • She was rushed to the hospital, where she was brought right into surgery. They ended up having to abort the surgery as she died on the table twice during the process.
  • In those moments where she was clinically dead, she saw a white light, felt the brightness, and woke up with a sense of calm, peace and knowledge.
  • This was despite waking up with the realities of what had happened, including paralysis on the left side of her body.
  • She came back feeling that life is so incredible and it deserves us living it without regrets. As she looked around, she saw people at all ages living with regrets and not pursuing lives. Kirsty felt a mission to help others see their power to change things and live their lives without negativity.
  • She described the feeling and knowledge when she woke up like she had gotten a download, and her entire being was hyper alert. She had this knowledge where she just understood things.
  • Kirsty had awareness of things that were going on that weren’t even around her, like her parents getting into their car to come to the hospital as they had just gotten a call that Kirsty had woken up.
  • She describes it like a gift of going back. Like, if you’re going back, you’ll need all these things, and it was all just given to her.
  • Kirsty went through her recovery process, which was extremely slow, painful and limited given she had happened to her body, but also the remaining risks because of the fragility of the situation in her brain. She missed a lot of school, and had many restrictions when she did go back to school. She talked specifically about the seemingly minor issue of not being able to tie her own shoe laces due to the effects of her paralysis, and needing to get help with that from other kids as a teenager.
  • Someone asked her when she was laughing and happy, “Where do you get your happiness from?” Her immediate thought was, “Well, where did you lose it?” That’s her focus – what is it we are doing and thinking that robs us of our happiness, and what can we do and think differently to keep that from happening.
  • We need to look for ways to bring more satisfying things into our lives, more joy, more happiness rather than more numbing things. If we can bring more of the positive in, we won’t use as much of the numbing things.
  • These influences come from everywhere – what shows we watch, the friends we associate with, etc. So many things make up our present moments, and that is what creates our future moments, so sit down and do a bit of design on the present so you can enjoy what you have and build even more enjoyment in the future.
  • We need to find a way to let go of things and just be – with ourselves, what we have and what we think. That gives us an ability to understand ourselves and what we need to do so we can design our lives. Giving ourselves even a few moments a day allows us to start this process of living more consciously.
  • The smallest changes can create the biggest overall changes in our lives. She shares the analogy of a pilot making a 1 degree change in the plane’s course.
  • In the short term, it’s insignificant, but over the long term, that can take the plane to a totally different place.


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