To live without regrets, first you need to know what the most common ones are.
Over at Harvard Business Review, Daniel Gulati discusses his informal study of people’s biggest regrets about their career.
He talked to professionals who ranged in age and represented a variety of different industries but five ideas came up again and again:
“By far the biggest regret of all came from those who opted into high-paying but ultimately dissatisfying careers.”
“Almost uniformly, those who had actually quit their jobs to pursue their passions wished they had done so earlier.”
“A recent study found that 70% of workers wished their current job would help them with starting a business in the future, yet only 15% said they had what it takes to actually venture out on their own.”
“Although more students are attending college, many of the group’s participants wished they had thoughtfully parlayed their school years into a truly rewarding first job.”
“Several individuals recounted windows of opportunity in their careers, or as one professional described, ‘now-or-never moments.'”
I’ve posted about research into the subject of regret before. So what do we regret the most?
Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care for many years, tending to people during the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. A handful of themes cropped up in the things they regretted during their final days:
1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2. “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”
3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
To them, these were regrets. For you, this can be a checklist of what not to do.
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