Tuesday, March 07, 2006

No regret

Last Sunday, I read an article about regret.
Though it's about financial decision, but I guess it applies to our life.

It has always been my principle not to regret for the things that I have done in my life, because I normally regret for the things I wish I had done. After reading the article, I guess everybody else experience the same...
Here is why...

There are two types of regret..First, regret of commission - the fear of doing something we'll later regret. Fearing that we'll regret a decision causes paralysis and procastination (in making decision). Plagued with the fear of regret, many people fail to make the important decision in their life. Regret is a double-edged sword. Our fear of regret cannot be quelled simply by choosing not to act. By avoiding the tough decision, we are only delaying the inevitable; sooner or later; we must still a second form of regret - the regret of omission - where we regret actions we failed to take, looking back ruefully on what might have been. The sad irony is that regret of omission only intensifies with time; when we look back on our lives, inevitably, it's the things that we have not done that cause the greatest regret.
We can always deal with the consequences of regrettable decisions by repairing our actions. We can do physically (apologising to people we've hurt) or psychologically (I learnt a lot from it). But the haunting regret of omission is ongoing. As time distances us from the circumstances and emotions surrounding lost opportunities, it's harder to understand why we didn't act.
To deal with regret, we have to understand the psychological mechanisms behind regret. We have to recognise that our conclusions about the wisdom of a decision will change, depending on when we assess it. We can improve our life decision when we know that later; we will likely to evaluate our decision differently.

Don't allow regret aversion to sabotage your decision in life...

No comments: