Today I came across an idea that had a big impact on me. There has been a study made by two U.S. universities on 370 people about the regret of doing things versus the regret of not doing things. The conclusion is that when we do things and regret it, the experience is more painful, but it doesn’t last that long (most of the time it lasts two weeks). However, the regret of not doing things is not as painful, but it lasts for years having bigger impact on our lives.
So whenever we have a dilemma about something, we should ask ourselves if we should do something about that and maybe suffer a couple of weeks because things didn’t work out the way we planned, or if we should do nothing about it and regret it for years.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything. Actually, the most common regrets are about love, education and work. So I think we should consider the results of this study whenever we have a dilemma in these domains.
If you analyze your past, what kind of regrets do you have? Your most powerful regrets are about doing things or about not doing things?