The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel Pink

9. Moral Regrets

  • Moral regrets are the least common in the deep structure category, but they tend to ache the most and last longer. Everyone has their own moral values so one person’s regrets might not bother someone else. Moral beliefs stand on the pillars of harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/disloyalty, disrespecting authority, and dedication. The harm category can also involve bullying. The lesson schools should teach is that bullying also hurts the bully due to subsequent regrets. When it comes to cheating. marital infidelity tops the list as a quick fling can lead to years of suffering. The regret of abortions is the most common desecration regret even though 44% of the people in the US believe that it is morally acceptable.

10. Connection Regrets

  • These regrets deal with relationships involving parents, spouses, children, friends, and co-workers. There are two types. Closed-door regrets are those that can no longer be addressed, usually due to the death of the person in question. Open-door regrets can be rectified if one person reaches out. Connection regrets are felt deeply and are rather common. There are two general causes. Rifts occur when there is an argument or some event that ends an otherwise positive relationship. Drifts often lack a decerning beginning, middle, or end. They are more common.
  • Studies show that strong relationships make people happier than money or fame. Close friendships are a good predictor of healthy aging and avoidance of dementia. Awkwardness often stands in the way of bringing relationships back together. The lesson for closed-door failures is to do better next time. The lesson for open-door failures is to push your awkwardness aside and reach out.

11. Opportunity and Obligation

  • In addition to our actual self, we have an ideal self which is what we believe we could be, and an ought self, which is what we believe we should be. Descrepencies between our actual self and the other two cause regrets. Failures to become our ideal selves are failures to pursue opportunities. Failures to become our ought selves are failures of obligations. Dan calls them coulda and shoulda regrets. We feel dejected when our actual self doesn’t match up to our ideal self. We feel agitated when our actual self doesn’t match our ought self. This means we are more likely to act. As you age you are more likely to regret what you haven’t done, which may be something you are no longer able to do.

Part Three. Regret Remade – 12. Undoing and At Leasting

  • Action regrets involve things you have done that you wish you hadn’t done. There are two ways to help. If you can undo something undo it. This can often involve an apology. If you can’t undo it you can at least it. This involves reframing it and by trying to see the glass as half full. If you got a bad tattoo you are having removed, at least it wasn’t bigger. If you regret marrying the wrong person you might say at least I have some great children. You can always imagine how things could have been worse as you search for a silver lining. Above all, don’t do it again.
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