The Harvard Business Review featured an article called “Go Ahead, Have Regrets” by Michael Craig Miller, MD. I found this article to be interesting, because I realized I am not the only one who has regrets when looking back on things that have been done and where they have landed me.
The Article discusses a study that was recently conducted by Colleen Saffrey at the University of Victoria in Canada and colleagues at the University of Illinois which found that people hold regret in high regard. Of all the negative emotions, regret was identified as the most valued because it helped people make sense of life events and remedy what went wrong.
Some suggestions to help manage this emotion and turn it into a tool for growth are…
• Beware of hindsight bias. What you should have done always seems clearer in retrospect than it was at the time.
• Use regret to improve decision-making and clarify values. Instead of ruminating over what might have been, let what happened point the way.
• Balance regret and risk. Instead of choosing a less risky option that you are least likely to regret, choose the one that will maximize your chance of reaching realistic goals.
• Don’t worry alone, especially if you are drowning in regret. If misery loves company, it’s because perspective helps.
The article goes into more detail about how to turn the regrets into positives, and we all need that right now with all the economic problems that we are facing today.
For more information on the connection between personal health and high performance, visit http://www.health.hbr.org.