What we regret

What we regret

The regrets that bother us the most involve failing to live up to our “ideal selves.” 

We’re not as bothered by the mistakes we’ve made or the things we ought to have done as we are bothered by never becoming the person we truly wanted to be.

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Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • The actual self is what a person believes to be now, based on current attributes and abilities. 
  • The ideal self is comprised of the attributes and abilities a person would like to possess one day— goals, hopes, and aspirations. 
  • The ought self is who someone believes they should have been according to their obligations and responsibilities.

People regret their inactions more than their actions in the long term.

  • A mistake makes you feel a great deal of regret, but you get over it quickly because you most likely can fix it.
  • You can’t fix what was never done in the first place. Inaction, the utter lack of trying, is what will truly haunt you. 

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RELATED IDEAS

Common themes surfaced again and again...

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

6

IDEAS

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff to-do”, you can see that they each have a very predictable life cycle and it brings in the realm of the concrete.

Big decisions are significant because they are rare

We make decisions throughout life. Some decisions are big and affect our lives for years or even decades.

A big decision is so significant because it is rare. You don't get an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. This makes it important to learn from others who have been there before.

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