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The Power of Regret

2 min

It feels humanizing to acknowledge the last sentence of this book that reminds us that regrets make us human so there is no need to sillyily aspire to live with "no regrets" or to minimize all regrets as Jeff Bezos says he does.

I've lived much of my life deciding to do something based on whether my future self would regret it if I didn't. It serves me but I also recognize that regrets are inevitable.

It is very astute that we can use our past regrets to reflect on what we truly care about and value. Wowzas, I took so many notes on the chapters about boldness and connection regrets show how I have a human need that revolves around not wanting to miss opportunities for growth or love.

I wrote more about this here:

Seven techniques to try that you won’t regret

  1. Start a regret circle. Talk openly with friends about those shoulda couldas to disempower them.
  2. Create a failure resumé. Popularized by Stanford Professor Tina Seelig. More on it here.
  3. Study self-compassion. Beating yourself up for this sorrow will cause more sadness than momentum.
  4. Pair new year’s resolutions with Old Year’s Regrets. Go back and look at what you could’ve done differently to change this year. Or if you’re like me, Old years regrets in July at the halfway mark :)
  5. Mentally subtract positive events. Pulled from the 1946 Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life consider all the decisions and indecisions, mistakes and triumphs, that led to that happy situation. Now take them away. The author Pink can mentally subtract his decision to go to Law School after having met his wife because without that choice the result is misery and gloom of a life without her. It can deepen gratitude and cast regrets in a new light.
  6. Participate in the World Regret Survey. Writing it out can take away the fangs from the regret and create distance.
  7. Adopt a journey mindset. Celebrate wins but don’t relish in them too long. Reflect back and review the steps that got you there. Spend less time celebrating the destination and more time contemplating the journey of what got you there. There’s a saying of you can always Win or Learn but I believe that you can Win AND Learn. Don’t let yourself only learn from mistakes, also notice the momentum and how you started moving and grooving in the first place.

I wrote more about this topic of regrets in my newsletter, Living without Regrets is Impossible, and on Goodreads.


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