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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People regret their inactions more than their actions in the long term.
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.
"When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."
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.
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.