3 Nov 2005
A study conducted by Cornell University indicates that when we look back over our lives we regret actions and risks not taken far more than the mistakes – even the big ones – that we made. In a study of several hundred people of varying age groups, Thomas Gilovich, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Cornell, found that when we make decisions to do things and they go badly, we suffer intense pain, but for a brief period of time. “Then we begin to adapt to the situation,” he explains. “But when we don’t take the risk, we suffer the pain of inaction, and the regret is much longer lasting.” The most common regrets? The study showed that mother was right: number one was not getting a good education, following closely by not “seizing the moment,” whether in romance or career. Perhaps we should all adopt the Nike slogan: Just do it.