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‘No Regrets’ Is No Way to Live

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‘No Regrets’ Is No Way to Live

The Wall Street Journal,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Banishing regret from our lives is not just futile, but also, unhelpful. 

Editorial Rating



  • Scientific
  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening


Most people don’t want to experience regret – yet it’s impossible to go through life without regretting something from time to time. Best-selling author Daniel H. Pink – who likes to turn conventional wisdom on its head – argues that, rather than being an unpleasant feeling that holds you back, regret can serve as a powerful catalyst for improving your life and that of others. In this Wall Street Journal article based on his latest book, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, Pink shares three tools for processing regret, so you can benefit from it.


Feelings of regret are not just a fact of life, but a powerful catalyst for self-improvement.

Feeling regret is painful. What’s more, individuals tend to view regret as futile – as something preventing them from looking forward. People as varied as Christian conservative Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and liberal US Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg publicly endorsed a “no regrets” maxim. Yet decades of scientific research suggest that banishing regret from your life is not just futile, but also, unhelpful.

Intrigued by these findings, author Daniel H. Pink conducted a survey of 16,000 individuals in 105 countries and came to the same conclusion: Feeling regret is...

About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of seven books, including the bestsellers Drive and When.

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    J. C. 2 years ago
    Interesting that the author re-discovered something so ancient
    regret is one of the 1st lessons our father Adam and mother Hawa (Eve) peace be upon them learnt
    out this comes drawing closer to our CREATOR to seek repentance
    followed by firm resolve to not repeat the same that caused it

    my issue with all self guru's & authors:
    all of us already know things and some of us just have not yet manage to formulate it into words what we are feeling or experience
    they (guru's/author's)re-discover and rehash in their own words what we all inherently know
    1st they disarm u by using new jargon or if u never before formulated words for ur feelings, experience, or understanding of something then the new jargon is a revelation,
    then break down your understanding into their analogies using their jargon in their paradigm
    then insert their "new discoveries" into ur mind as their own with their analogies & jargon
    & we think wow !!!

    unwritten/unspoken writing technique used by self help "guru's" and authors

    however there is still value in it as a reminder to us of what we already know but were too afraid to say/act on/do.
    as long as u remember not to get sucked in but use it as a reminder of what u already know
    rather than become a worshipper of said guru/author giving them power over your life
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      4 months ago
      well said :)
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    V. B. 2 years ago
    Congratulations to the author for wroting book on this big and challeging emotion of human beings. The ideas and concepts covered in the book are convincing and should do help.
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    2 years ago
    I love this app but this shit is really stupid. <br> <br>With regret there's no life. <br>Only mentally weak getting pushed around by the tides of life.