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Got Regret? Be Bold, Use it as a Teacher and Live Better

Last week I listened to a fascinating podcast on a book by Daniel Pink titled "The Power of Regret. How Looking Backward Moves You Forward". I didn't expect to learn much, but I did, with one being there are 4 categories of regret that Daniel concluded after surveying 16,000 people from 105 countries. They 4 categories of regret are:

  • Boldness Regret- This regret is what we experience when we didn't take the chance and try or do "that thing", talk to "that person" or pursue "that career."

  • Foundation Regret- This regret is the one we experience when we realize we could've "done better" or we didn't "try our best". An example is becoming unhealthy and realizing it was likely preventable "if only" we'd exercised and taken better care of our body.

  • Moral Regret- This regret is the "if only I'd done the right thing" regret.

  • Connection Regret- This regret is the "if only I'd reached out" regret.

This is where it gets good. Daniel says, "Experiencing the emotion of regret is normal, uncomfortable and painful, but rather than deny that we have regret or keep living in the pain of regret, he recommends we use the lesson(s) of regret to learn, take action and live a better (best) life!"

Finally, and also fascinating, Daniel says the regret we experience is a clue into what we value most in life. Per his surveying of 16,000 random people from around the world, the following 3 things are what we value and want most out of life is:

  1. Love and goodness

  2. A chance to lead a psychologically rich life and do something with our limited time here

  3. Stability

The reason why I'm sharing this information is because I think we all have regret (I know I do) and in order to live our boldest and best life, we must learn from our regret and use it as a teacher and motivator so we can be bold, take chances, say "yes", try our best, do the right thing, reach out, love big and live better. Or, if there is something you've been wanting to say, do or pursue (for example, becoming a sunset/sunrise surfer as in the picture) save yourself the emotion of regret and BOLDLY TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP NOW.


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