I enjoyed reading The Power of Regret by Dan Pink. He recently shared an excerpt of the book in several paragraphs in a short ” graduation speech .” Here are my cliff notes:
Foundation regrets : “The first of the four major regrets is what I call foundation regrets. Foundation regrets arise from the small choices we make early in life that accumulate negative consequences later in life.
We spend too much and save too little. We don’t eat well, don’t sleep enough, or exercise too often. We’re only reluctantly hard at work — or, yes, in class”
“The foundation’s regret sounds like this: If only I had done the job.”
Brave Regrets : “All regrets start when we’re in a pinch. For this category, the moment of truth presents a choice: play it safe — or take the chance? When we don’t take it — not all the time, But most of the time – we’ll regret it.”
” Bold regret sounds like this: If only I had taken this opportunity. “
Moral regret : “Again, we are at a critical moment. We can take the high road or we can take the low road. When we choose what our conscience says is the wrong road, most of us – most of the time – regret it.
We hurt others. We broke our word. We devalue what should be respected. While at first this decision can feel good — even uplifting — it soon eats away at us. “
“The moral regret sounds like this: If only I did the right thing.”
Connecting Regrets : “These are regrets about all the relationships in our lives. Partners. Parents. Children. Siblings. Cousins. Friends. Colleagues. Classmates.
A 45-year-old woman from the District of Columbia said: “My brother died suddenly at forty. I’m sorry I didn’t say ‘I love you’ more.”
” Connecting regrets sounds like this: If only I reached out. “
This gives us the opposite image of the good life.
A decent foundation – enough stability so that life doesn’t come to jeopardy. Courage – the opportunity to learn and grow and do something meaningful in the short time in our lives. Morality – kindness, decency and justice. Connection – with the people we love and the people who love us.
Or put it another way.
do the job.
take the chance.
Do the right thing.
and ignore the rest.
Thanks for the great recap, Dan.
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