Research reveals people’s biggest regrets in life.
People are filled with the most regret about not fulfilling their long-held dreams and goals, research find.
In comparison, people do not regret failing to fulfil their duties and obligations as much.
In the study, 72 percent of people reported experiencing regrets about not fulfilling their dreams, in comparison to only 28 percent regretting not fulfilling obligations.
Similarly, when asked about their biggest regret in life, 76 percent mentioned something that was related to achieving their ideal self.
One of the explanations could be that it is hard to live up to your dreams.
Doing something about your obligations is usually easier as the action is obvious.
Working harder to earn more, attending a funeral or donating blood are all uncomfortable, but the path is clear.
With dreams and aspirations, it can be difficult to know where to start.
It can also be difficult to find the courage.
Professor Tom Gilovich, the study’s author, has this advice:
“As the Nike slogan says: ‘Just do it’.
Don’t wait around for inspiration, just plunge in.
Waiting around for inspiration is an excuse.
Inspiration arises from engaging in the activity.”
Often what stops people following their dreams is worrying what others will think of them
Again, Professor Gilovich says other people care less than you think:
“People are more charitable than we think and also don’t notice us nearly as much as we think.
If that’s what holding you back — the fear of what other people will think and notice — then think a little more about just doing it.”
The study was published in the journal Emotion (Davidai & Gilovich, 2018).
Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.
This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.