Extracting lessons from regrets

‘No Regrets’ Is No Way to Live https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-regrets-is-no-way-to-live-11643385936

The last two years of pause, unearthed deep reflections in the way we live. Some, celebrated the brevity of life. Others, deep regrets, especially with relationships that grew apart or is no longer possible. Business which fail, opportunities lost.

Daniel Pink’s latest book “No regrets” is a recommended read as we think about opportunities, gains and losses.

Pink cites experiments by Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California who found that writing about negative experiences or talking into a tape recorder about them for 15 minutes a day substantially increased people’s overall satisfaction and improved their well-being. Better than merely thinking about those experiences.

Reason according to Pink is that using language, whether written or spoken, forces us to organize and integrate our thoughts. Describing regrets converts abstract feelings into concrete, less fearsome words. Language captures emotions in our net, pin them down and begin analyzing them.

I just may pick up journaling again. It also explains why I always feel lighter after a group prayer session where I say out prayers rather than think through prayers by myself.

Pink also cites Tina Seelig who found , “The act of documenting your errors allows you to move on much more quickly, as opposed to dwelling on them, and results in a lower likelihood that you will repeat the same mistake,”

“The act of documenting your errors allows you to move on much more quickly, as opposed to dwelling on them, and results in a lower likelihood that you will repeat the same mistake,”

Another useful activity is “Psychological Distancing” whether through time travel or social- through using third person perspective or physical and cultural distance.

Whether we deep dive like a scuba diver or to zoom out from problem like an oceanographer, changing lens helps reframe a problem and see opportunities.

Finding a coach helps this white-board reframe of a problem/ concern.

Lastly, move forward. What lesson does it teach? What would you advise doing next? Now follow your own advice.

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