Why missed opportunities haunt us

One of the most important insights from the scholarly research on regret is that we regret what we didn’t do more deeply and more often than what we did do.

This distinction between action regrets and inaction regrets came out clearly in my own research, including our survey of 4,489 Americans.

We found that 20-year-olds have about equal numbers of the two types of regret. But as people get just a little older, what begins to haunt them are inactions, not actions.

The lesson?

Act now. Take the chance.

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The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

In Dan Pink's new book, find out how regret, our most misunderstood emotion, can be the pathway to our best life.

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