If Only We Had a Bias Towards Action

Jan 18, 2023 | 0 comments

-by Peggy Hahn (She/Her), Executive Director of LEAD

Regrets are a photographic negative or reverse image of the good life, according to Daniel Pink, in his book The Power of Regret. He found that the biggest regret is inaction. The things we can’t undo but wish we had done. The answer? A bias towards action!

We plan too much. We want to figure stuff out in advance and then do it. We are afraid to disappoint others or to take risks. We think, if only I’d taken a chance.

Pink found that regardless of the categories of regrets, the answers were consistent across nationalities. This includes relationships, working hard enough in school or on the job, or moral regrets, not exercising or eating right, or connections with people.

His advice based on all his research: Always reach out. Always lean into action. Take a chance.

Personally, I am reflecting on my regrets and asking myself what chances I need to take. How about you? Here’s a little practice I am using:

  • What regret is weighing me down right now?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • What chance can I take that makes things better?

It is interesting how freeing this is. The power to overcome regrets is freeing. I think it may even be a spiritual practice, related to the Christian understanding of confession. What are your thoughts about regret?

Transcript from NPR Interview: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1087010308
Book: https://www.danpink.com/the-power-of-regret/
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzaxccVP2yQ


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