Sometimes when I’m stuck on a course of action, I use two techniques to help me decide.

One is what I call the “90-year-old me Test.” I imagine I’m 90 and looking back at the decision before. What will I want to have done in this situation? In most cases, the 90-year-old me wants today’s me to take an intelligent risk rather than to avoid one — and to act nobly rather than like an ass.

The other I call the “Viktor Frankl Test.” In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl advises: “Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.”

Both techniques are forms of what we might think of as “regret management.” They’re based on the idea that one key to decision-making is to avoid subsequent regret.

That’s why I was intrigued by a new study that fluttered into Pink, Inc., world headquarters during a recent vacation. In it, Mike Morrison of the University of Illinois and Neal J. Roese of Northwestern asked 370 Americans about their lives’ deepest regrets. Here’s a quick summary of the results, some of which surprised me:

  • Lost loves and unfulfilling relationships turned out to be the most common regrets,” though women had far more romantic regrets than men. Family matters were the second greatest source of regret.
  • Men were more likely to have work-related (career, education) regrets than women. And in an interesting paradox, “Americans with high levels of education had the most career-related regrets.” In other words, more options seemed to correlate with more regrets.
  • Overall, there wasn’t a difference between regrets over actions taken versus actions not taken. Prior research had shown that regrets focusing on action were more common than those focusing on inaction. But people regretted inaction far longer than actions.

At the risk of turning this into an online therapy session, I’m curious to know what sorts of things you regret — and what techniques you use to avoid or mitigate it. Add your voice to the Comments section, which one reader recently told me “was better than the blog itself.” (BTW, I don’t regret that for a moment.)

49 Responses to “How to understand regret — and 2 ways to avoid it”

  1. Tina Reyes says:

    I think I’m at a point in my life where I struggle to identify what real regrets are…and I agree with you about difference not being stark between action and inaction.

    As much as I “advertise” myself to be a woman who lives life with no regrets, some professional decisions have been too stressful for me not to consider as regrets. My big question though is that — it’s regret now, but if I manage to pick myself up from the “rubble” and actually learn from it, it transcends into something else. Is that still regret, no matter how momentary?

    I’m also quite surprised that despite all the personal blows I’ve had over the last few years, I don’t regret anything. Not even being in a bad relationship…

    Cheers,
    T

  2. Brenda Ellis says:

    I have often used what I called the “death-bed” test. It goes: “When I’m lying on my deathbed, will I regret….?” It’s very handy for dealing with the decision about how frequently to clean house. (“When I’m lying on my deathbed, will I say, ‘I wish I’d washed the windows more often.’?) But maybe I’m misusing it. ;-)

  3. Andrew Munro says:

    Hi Daniel,

    One thought occurs to me regarding hte last bullet point (on Inaction and Regret). Are the two perhaps related by personality type; i.e. the person who delays action, perhaps because of indecision or over-thinking the situation, may be exactly the type of person who also ruminates long and hard over regrets? Thus, it may not be the lack of action per se which caused the longer period of regret.

    Just a thought.

    Andrew

  4. Jen says:

    The 3rd point was interesting given the number of times that old saw of Twain’s seems to come around. I tend to use a version of the 90 Year Old Me Test as well, but I do find that my regrets have more to do with unforeseen outcomes of choices rather than the choices themselves.

  5. Lisa says:

    I have days with more career-related regrets on some days than on other days: Mondays are the worst. On Mondays, I regret that I’m in a job that is not the job I want and wish I had done this and that differently so as not to be stuck like this. On Fridays, I’m more practical and I think, well, at least I have a job that gives me a free weekend and a decent amount of money to enjoy that weekend (food, entertainment).

    Regarding love and life regrets, these also vary considerably depending on circumstances large and small (state of health, financial problems, the weather). This makes me wonder whether the definition of regret varies depending on our moods and circumstances–even down to day-by-day variables.

    That said, I do use the perspective test to address my regrets. But I adapt it to look both backward and forward as well as address the reality of having regrets: Have I always had regrets about these types of choices? Will I likely always have regrets about them? Should I accept that some choices may spawn regret and not fret about these choices?

  6. Based on the research, my regrets fall into one major category: Not listening to my inner Spirit. These, like most others, fall into two categories: 1) family, especially things that I did or did not do with my kids, ignoring that “inner voice,” and 2) career or business related decisions that could have been corrected sooner, I had not been so “loyal” to the new business. (Read “loyal” as “proud.” Too proud to admit that I had made a mistake.)

    Daniel’s blog has great advice. I just have a hard time following that advice.

  7. Ehrika says:

    The majority of my regrets have stemmed from under valuing myself. As I’ve grown, and started to both realize and fully appreciate my worth (both personal and professional) I’m able to mitigate regrets with more self trust and less anxiety. Being more discerning, and following my God-given instinct.

  8. ade says:

    I’m using similar technique as “90-year-old me Test” or “The Deathbed test” but it is easier to use that technique to choose action over inaction. When you have many action options it is harder to use this.

    BTW, this is an interesting premise for a new book, Pink. ;)

  9. Stacey says:

    Regret really is tied to our inability to accurately project the future. One can make an informed decision, but that decision can still lead directly to undesirable consequences. I think that is what causes the sort of regret that lingers because the regret is connected to our beating up ourselves a choice that could have been made differently (despite the fact that we did not have enough information at the time to possibly know the outcome of the decision would not be to our benefit). For example, let’s say one is offered two positions in their professional field and they are forced to choose which position they will accept. If they choose a position that leads to layoff or termination they will be apt to regret not choosing the other option. Both options might be viable at the time of the choice, but it is only in retrospect that one can realize the destiny of each. Perhaps the other choice would have led to continued prosperity and, judging by the person that did take the other rejected option, that is exactly what has happened. Although it cannot always be in our power to make the most favorable decision, even after careful thought and research, we would like to be able to have control over what happens to us and regret is the blame we thrust on ourselves for being human and fallible. In these sorts of cases, the 90 year-old rule will not really apply. The only way to deal with this sort of regret is to forgive ourselves our human fallibility and to move on. If we do not, our regret will project into our future and lead to further regret from either inaction or fear. We cannot control all the variables and we must be kind to and forgiving of ourselves when the choices we make do not turn out exactly as planned. This is often times more difficult than enduring the unpleasant consequences of a choice gone awry.

  10. Jerret says:

    As I get older, getting my way (in an argument or other confrontation) is not as important. I find myself holding my tounge knowing that one slip up can cause painful, lingering regret. It’s just not worth the mental price to win (get my way) and yet lose the other person (regret).

  11. Earlier this year I wrote a blog post that I still regret. Not because it was a bad post, but because I didn’t wait to post until it revealed itself (to me) as a rant disguised as helpful hints. This has had a negative trickle-down effect I’m still dealing with professionally.

    Will this situation matter to the 90-year-old me? No. But I do regret it, because I didn’t listen to my gut and wait to post it. Had I done so, I would have seen it for what it was, and would not have posted it, or would have radically revised it. But generally I find I don’t actually regret much in life, so long as I make decisions with integrity and the best information I have at that time.

    Have I learned a lot from this situation? Yes. Do I still regret it. Yes.

  12. Karen says:

    I’ve learned that regret is a waste of time and energy and that wishing things were different is pretty pointless. I’m sad I don’t have a family and children and that it took me nearly 30 years to figure out it was time to figure out what I wanted from life. I can’t undo the past, so I focus on the now and being braver and more honest going forward. Regret is a bit like guilt – you can’t undo the past but you can take responsibility for the now and that’s a good thing. Regret seems indulgent and wasteful (if very human).

  13. I follow the “death lives on my shoulder” approach. Can’t remember where I read that one, but it encourages you live and do, rather than wait around.

    Also, there’s the countdown approach. Since we have no idea, really, how long we will be around, why not ask what we would do with 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, six months, 24 hours, 15 minutes, one minute, or a second?

    These approaches are much easier when you are not under the excruciating pressure of running a business, paying the mortgage, being directed by a boss, or dodging bullets, but it does help prioritize and focus a life.

    I think it is a regret management strategy. Face it: Some mistakes we make we wish we did not. Be we did. Some we need to make in order to learn and appreciate life.

  14. I tend to regret not taking action because I’m stuck in my “old” story. What I do typically is talk to my coach on how to change this limiting belief that is keeping me stuck. I am commited to living my life fully and I know that when I don’t do something I want to do, that an underlying commitment is trying to prevent me from playing full out. They(regrets)are cues to me that I have an opportunity to learn. (sometimes I regret being a life long learner :))-wink

    Julie

  15. My regret: Not having used the 90-years-old me techniques earlier.

  16. Now that I have a better understanding of how my brain is shaped at a young age I regret choices I made during my childhood and adolecense. This motivates me to help young people make positive choices in their lives at a young age because you can never completely change the way your brain developes at a young age.

  17. L Smith says:

    A mentor of mind lived his life saying that on his grave stone they were not going to say he wished he had of….. He lived his life with the firm belief that he would spend much more time apologizing than he would spend in asking permission. In otherwords he did rather than wait and see. What I learned from that is that I would act rather than stewing over should I, shouldn’t I. Any regrets that I do have have always been in not acting…not reaching out to a friend, not reaching for my fathers hand as we walked down the hospital corridor 2 weeks before he died, not having returned the surprising and very nice kiss on the elevator from the much younger man, not having the courage in my earlier years to be as adventurous in spirit, work, life as I am now in my late 50′s. When I am 90 my intent is to still have that devil may care attitude and as my friend says…still going for the gusto and it if is not appropriate, well such is life but an adventurous life it has been.
    ls

  18. Bob says:

    I’ve used a similar process for years with a few differences. I place myself 5 years down the road and look back and ask if I like the results of my decision. If I ask how it will impact my family, my friends, my finances, my career, etc. then I can often sort out what to do. We can often look at other people and predict the outcome of their decisions, why not do it to ourselves first?

  19. Ronnie Kahn says:

    I have found that risk taken in concert with one’s true purpose, meaning in life, and values will not be high on the regrettable scale. If you focus is on external results rather than on the intrinsic states of being, you will look at regret from the wrong perspective. If your happiness is tied to such external things like how much money came from the choice, you will never hit the satisfaction factor and will keep going until you do hit that regret.

  20. John Peters says:

    I definitely regret not taking action. Especially considering romantic relationships which I do not have. Now I know that in almost every situation in life you should try and test everything out without beeing concernced about the outcome too much. Sure, avoid stupid risks, but do take action and learn from failure and success.
    If my past me (maybe 15 years ago) could read this, I’d be better off now.

  21. While I’ve utilized different discernment and decision making strategies throughout my life, and those have certainly woven together to form the basis upon which my decisions are now guided, the one thing that has helped me eliminate feelings of regret is keeping a growth oriented mindset.

    Having a growth mindset is beneficial in many areas of life and has been written about extensively, particularly in areas of performance, but I think in the area of regret it is at least as important, if not more so.

    I’ve come to approach past experiences as raw material that can be drawn upon to guide future decision making. Some of that raw material strikes up memories of success, contentment, and cheer, while other parts of it conjure up more painful memories. If I was to look back with wishes of things I could have changed, I’d find a seemingly infinite number of follies that have resulted in hurting myself and others. Mistakes have been made, that is the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts.

    However those decisions, even the worst of them, were made with the best judgement I was able to put into action in the given moment. Sometimes that judgement was clouded, at times decisions were made on inaccurate or incomplete information, and at times I’ve been well, just plain dumb.

    But by grace I’ve been given a shot to use those experiences to try to make good choices in this moment, and I hope the next. By seeing past experiences, even the hard ones, as resources rather than regret, I believe we’re able to be more at peace with where we’ve been, and more excited about where we have the opportunity to go(grow).

  22. Interesting as always Dan. I’d love to see this replicated across diverse groups and cultures.

    It strikes me that regret is ultimately about vulnerability, guilt and shame and the challenge of moving forward (c.f. living life fully and wholeheartedly) – Brene Brown’s work in this area is really good, as are the comments above about living from purpose and values and growing. Personally I’ve found that as I live increasingly wholeheartedly, I regret less, learn more, and live more fully and more joyfully.

  23. Shane says:

    I long to be one of those people who seemingly make a decision, know that it’s the right one and apparently never think about it again. Came across this video via Twitter a while back and its stayed with me ever since – mostly for its simple honesty. http://tumblr.com/xwq2kfjlb0

  24. vc says:

    How timely this post.

    I only recently noticed my regrets were related to my own deep desire to control my life, get things right and wanting to make the right move to support a supposed future projection of where I wanted to be, or who I wanted to be.

    So I have been experimenting with making my decisions step by step without peeking into the future. I am trusting that tomorrow will allow me to either change my mind or enjoy or learn from the effects of the decision. It also requires me to trust and develop that ‘gut feeling’ intuition.

    so far no regrets

  25. Michael says:

    You may be interested in a paper I have in press at the Journal of Applied Psychology that deals with regret and changes in mood. Basically, the paper shows that when people have two reference points by which they can evaluate their outcomes, they typically choose the one that helps them avoid regret and improve their moods.

    For example, if you are buying a car, you may not get as low a price as a friend of yours got, but you got a much better price than what was on the sticker. You could regret that your friend got a better deal than you, or you could focus on how much you saved. Our research suggests that when people have “alternative reference points” like this by which they can evaluate the outcomes of their decisions, they usually take the one that makes them feel better about the decision.

    The full paper is available on this website: http://faculty.washington.edu/mdj3/mjohnson/

  26. Laura says:

    I regret spending so much of my life trying to make other people happy.

    But, I decided a few months ago that life is short, and I want to lead a life that is rewarding and fulfilling. If I accomplish that, then the people in my life who love me will be happy that I am happy.

    When I am 90, I want my children to see my life as a model of a life well lived, and not one that is a model of what NOT to do!

  27. CiMichelle says:

    Great discussion spurner, though if you introduce a psy-oriented topic such as regret it will likely take therapeutic tones because that’s the nature of the beast.
    Your findings are interesting.
    The first half of the piece talks not about regret but about making decisions constructively, and using imagined regret as tool to create better results in the present/future, where you actually can control things.
    Later, the piece turns more to actual regret and who/what/why people seem to regret most. This part may illustrate not how to use the power of regret constructively, but what causes it and (you didn’t go into this) what to do with it so it doesn’t turn destructive on the *past*. Ie: Can you change it and use it to make better future decisions, change your course? Can you glean from it? How do you ensure that it doesn’t eat your present joy?
    Regret is a powerful and important topic since it’s energy can impede or empower your present and future. Learning how ot run your mind/inner system so it works for you and you don’t work for it is a worthwhile subject and one that directly impacts motivation. And if it does turn partly therapeutic–as motivational and personal growth subjects touch upon, what’s the harm…

  28. Daniele says:

    The third point makes a lot of sense. With inaction, there is always the “What if” in the back of one’s mind which easily turns into regret.

  29. Eric Busch says:

    I have found the notions of regret and retrospect are often considered the same. For me they are very different.

    Regret acknowledges a poor decision enabled by emotion:

    - I reget snacking on chocolate cheesecake last night at 3AM.
    - I reget drinking so much at the New Year’s Eve party.
    - I reget sending an acrimonious email to my coworker.

    Expressing regret is an admission that you were wrong and you knew it at the time, however you consciously decided to ignore your own wisdom or dismiss readily available information in favor of some other desire. The immediate gratification is eventually replaced by sadness, disappointment, repentance or despair. In an attempt to console yourself, you express regret—a confession that you were weak, acted selfishly and/or were incapable of keeping your emotions in check.

    That’s regret.

    In contrast, retrospect often acknowledges a poor decision enabled by uncertainty:

    - I don’t regret not taking typing in high school, but in retrospect it would have served me well.
    - I don’t regret locking in my mortgage rate, but in retrospect I would have benefited from waiting two more weeks.
    - I don’t regret selling my Apple stock, but in retrospect I could have held it much longer.

    Retrospect affords us the opportunity to admit we may have been wrong, but it was due to insufficient information or unforeseen subsequent events. Elapsed time provides more intelligence and greater clarity, which helps to explain why the decision was ultimately proven incorrect. There are no ensuing emotions of guilt, anguish or contrition to be resolved and any pain or disappointment is comforted by the fact no one can predict the future (e.g., “Hindsight is 20/20…” or “If I knew then what I know now…”).

    I am curious how Morrison and Roese defined regret for the purposes of their study. And how many of the 370 participants provided an instance of a poor decision enabled by emotion versus a poor decision enabled by lack of information; I contend the difference is significant.

  30. Janice Cohen says:

    As some have said regrets are only valuable when there is something to learn from the cause of the regret and the learning influences future behavior or actions. I also realize that the choices I made at the time I made them were the best I could make given my understanding, experience and feelings at the time. What is the route of the word regrat? There has to be a value in regretting, but I don’t know what it is. Choice does open the possibility of decisions with negative consequences, but that seems better then no choice.

  31. SDC says:

    You can’t use the 90 year old man test for things like eating a bucket of chicken wings or riding your motorcycle without a helmet, because in those cases 90 year old you won’t exist to give you grief.

  32. Ruth says:

    Regret will only drag you down. On the other hand, perspective and learning from choices are both good things. No one lives a perfect life or makes only “right” decisions. Our lives are the sum total of who we are as people and become what we have to offer as we go on. My favorite story about this (long before the bucket list movie) is that when you are young, you go through life filling up your bucket with experiences. Some of these are positive and some not. As you get older, you begin to give back and take experiences out of your bucket to share with others. I find this metaphor the best for a teacher or a parent. We all have something to share with others. After my education and life experience, it is my turn to share what is in my bucket with others. I don’t have all of the answers, but experience is a great teacher.

    Regarding regret, it is hard not to regret. You can make up your mind never to regret anything, but that seems to lack the introspection needed to learn. I think as I said before, we learn from everything and as long as we allow ourselves to do this, there should be no regret, only growth. I suppose that is how I have gotten through the many difficult times in my life. There are always bad moments, but it helps to allow yourself to learn from your mistakes or ask yourself what is this going to teach me? All the challenges have definitely made me a better, stronger person and none of them have been without some pain and some regret. Perspective is king.

  33. Moonpie says:

    My major regret is listening to voices in the late 60′s saying “drop out”, dropping out of college, and making do with the fewer opportunities offered since then. Then there were the conflicting voices, “free love”, the Catholic Church saying “don’t take birth control”, and society saying “a child must have two parents, male and female” – you can guess where that led. But the flip side of that was a kaleidoscope of experiences, family, friends and travel that I wouldn’t take back.

  34. Kristen says:

    I regret having believed the people who told me, when I was in high school, “writing is a nice hobby, but you’ll never be able to make a living at it.” I took a long, circuitous career path without following my bliss, but eventually I blundered into a career in journalism. I now work in a newsroom full of people who make their living as writers.

    Never tell children they can’t make a living doing what they love. Tell them it will be difficult, tell them it won’t be much of a living, but for the love of all that’s creative, don’t tell them it’s impossible.

  35. Brenda says:

    I have never used the 90-year-old or “death-bed” test. Which isn’t to say that I’ve never made a mistake or done something that I wish I hadn’t (or not done something that I later wished I had), b/c of course I have. At the end of every day, I have to live most up-close and personally with myself, and that mean with everything I’ve done & said (or failed to do or say). This is my test, then, when deciding what to do, how to do it, etc.: is it the right thing for me to do? Does it preserve my integrity, do I honestly believe in the right-here-and-now that I’m making the right decision? I can’t imagine that my perspective at age 90 or on my death-bend is going to be significantly different than the one I have today. So the one I have today is the one I use (it’s closer at hand, for sure!).

  36. Courtney says:

    I usually try not to have any regrets about things because you never know what effect a past decision might have on your future. For example, I was worried I’d regret not being able to stay home to raise my son and having to send him to daycare. When he was 6 months old, my husband lost his job, and now I’m the only employed person in the house. If I’d stayed home with him, I’d probably be regretting giving up my job!

    Every decision you make or don’t make can have an impact several times over during your life, so why worry about them?

  37. Ruth C says:

    That is the truth Courtney. We don’t know what the path would be like with out the steps from behind. We can control the steps of the future, but not the past. Each experience, and who we are, is influenced by the ones that came before, not after. Those experiences, and regret or perhaps constructive criticism, can help with future choices. We wouldn’t be whom we are without our past, so it is hard to regret when you have no idea what would have happened had you made other decisions. Reflection is easier than foretelling the future.

    Perhaps Robert Frost said it best…

    “I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.”

  38. Erik Verhagen says:

    I trust my instincts and emotions to make the choice. Consequently, I always feels that, whatever option I’ve chosen, it was the only option. Whether or not I regret (having made) that choice is moot.

    If I don’t feel a need to change course, it was the right choice (at the time). If I do feel the need to change course (for whatever reason), let’s do so!

  39. James Wu says:

    Thought you might be interested in this recent post by swissmiss where she asked the question: “If you could go back and change one decision in your life, what would it be?”

    33 fantastic comments: http://www.swiss-miss.com/2011/08/change-one-decision-in-your-life.html

  40. Achim Seer says:

    Often I´m really stressed by these parts of my decisionprocesses. Instinct is sometimes on opposite to the business needs. Sickness and depressions where my output not to follow them. Then I met Dr. JR Zyla (When God Wasn’t Watching, the Devil Created Busines “http://www.amazon.de/Wasnt-Watching-Devil-Created-Business/dp/190779400X”)who has been CEO and Businesspartner of Ececutive Search Companies for years and had great tipps of how live can be lived as Excecutive in a different way.
    Everything I read on your blog shows the same direction. I´m impressed and looking forward to your articles and books. Thanks a lot!

  41. I’ve noticed recently that in addition to regrets I have a lot more aches and pains than I used to. I suppose I can feel pain in my body more and it takes longer after a workout to recover. (I have no idea how Jamie Moyer was still pitching in the majors when he was 45 years old. I could see why he would need 5 days rest minimum. (Not that I’m comparing myself to Jamie Moyer, since I’ve never been close to professional at any sport…))

    The pain that we all have from exercise and injury is a consequence of certain actions – bending a way our body was not meant to bend, or lifting too heavy a weight. But what about the unconditioned pain we have? The regrets or the sadness or the mental anguish? And as we get older don’t these pains get more significant and more pronounced?

    Because of operant conditioning it seems that pain is always a consequence – that for some reason we “should” feel good and we don’t. We are somehow to blame for the pain we have, regardless of what kind of pain it is. But where does this idea come from? Life would be very different if we assumed that we shouldn’t feel good and were grateful whenever we did… In fact, that’s the reality that many people suffering from serious illnesses face everyday if they don’t feel somehow responsible for their suffering. A breath of fresh air is the relief from constant and pernicious “physical” pain when we know that we are truly an innocent victim.

    I feel a great deal of regret about what I failed to accomplish and what I didn’t do. This type of pain – pain of failure, defeat, loss, dashed hopes, crushed dreams – hurts deeply and it often seems there is no way out. It’s hard, if not impossible, to see how we might not take too much responsibility and blame ourselves for our delusions, anxieties, fantasies, psychoses and mental pain.

    In my opinion, the scariest thing about regret is that it is not a consequence or a cause. There is no way we should be. Pain of action or inaction is just a part of what composes ordinary life. And it hurts.

  42. Minna says:

    I have the 17-year-old-me test. Did I ever imagine that I would go this far? That I would work like this and talk with these people everyday? That I would earn two or three times more than my parents did. That I would have a house, a garden, car, children, the dog,…? A person should always have different sized dreams but making them true is never just about deciding, it’s the circumstances, being in the right place, calling the right person, learning just enough, having the stamina, guts to stand on your own, so many things. Some in your control, some not.

  43. Stephanie says:

    I love this post and this question. I used to be proud of not living life with any regrets. As I’ve grown older, I can come up with one or two (losing touch with a childhood friend, or not having more care-free fun in my 20s/working too hard and stressing about the future too much). But I think the beauty of regret is that you do learn an important lesson, and you can turn that regret into action. I will call that childhood friend, and I will make a conscious effort to have more fun in my 30s/40s and beyond.

    When faced with a decision, I typically sit in a quiet space, and imagine myself making decision #1 and how the outcomes of that decision might feel. Then I think about how the outcome of decision #2 could feel. I like the 90-year-old me test, too!

  44. SuperBukowski says:

    I regret not having more sex and not visiting Asia earlier in my life. Kinda.

  45. Norm says:

    Dan, I regret not being able to attend your keynote presentation at HR Florida last week.

    I’m on the back-nine of my time on this earth and am trying to cleanse myself of regrets and am practicing, as a good buddhism student, surrendering to the moment. My moment right now is starting an 8-week treatment regimen for bladder cancer. So, every day is a gift.
    Thank you!

  46. Mary Miller says:

    My biggest regret is NOT going to college. Not for the usual reasons (better job, more $$$). Yes, I can go now and I do continue to read and learn. The age in which we go to college leaves us with far less baggage to deal with than when we are older. My solution to my regret (I always think there is a solution) is to say I DO NOT DO GUILT!!! I did what I did (made the decision about school) from an ill advised parent. My solution was to make sure my daughter knew from 1st. grade her path was education.

    Age is also a wonderful thing because it softens some of us to know how very little control we have. So I trust this sharing of ideas will lessen peoples guilt and encourage them to live their life…..as long as they live with gusto and adventure.

  47. Vaish says:

    Certainly, I’ve had few regrets in my life, but they were all trivial and in due course I’ve overcome that. However, when I think back, the pain was more in situations where I’d failed to take an action!

  48. I’m 42 years old and still can’t decide if I want to have a baby or not. I’m afraid if I don’t at least try while I still can, I will regret it when I am 50.

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