Regret is our constant companion, tugging at our ear to remind us of our mistakes. Our follies. The kind of stuff we shove to the back of our brain fridge and hope it doesn’t stink up the house.
But what if regret isn’t what we think?
What if it’s actually the way to a happier, more fulfilling life?
Daniel Pink, the author of such insightful classics as To Sell is Human and A Whole New Mind, rolled up his sleeves and mined the deep, dingy trenches of regret. What he found just might change your life.
As part of the World Regret Survey, Daniel collected regrets from around 16,000 people in 105 countries to try to crack the code of what people regret. He put together his findings in his new book, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward. “The four core regrets operate as a photographic negative of the good life,” Daniel says. “If we know what people regret the most, we can reverse that image to reveal what they value the most.”
The curiosities you’ll uncover in this episode:
- The four core regrets
- What a social experiment on a subway taught us about reaching out to estranged friends and family
- What we regret at a young age versus what we regret when we’re older
- How regret can become a compass for a well-lived life
Did You Know?
Silver medalists tend to be the least happy person on the podium. According to a study by David Matsumoto of San Francisco State University, they smiled one-quarter less than first and third place. While the gold medalist shines with happiness for their win and the bronze medalist is happy to have made the podium, the silver medalist is often plagued with “if only” regrets.
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