#235 Regret, Science Of

And the Wisdom of Mark Twain’s Trade Winds

Mark Twain tells us that twenty years from now we will be more disappointed by the things we didn’t do than by the things we did do. So, he says, we should throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor—catching the trade winds in our sails.

Get this: Science agrees.

In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky walks us through the fact that we are surprisingly resilient in the face of adversity.

And, we consistently overestimate how bad we’ll feel in the future if something goes wrong.

This is one of her “myths” of happiness.

In fact, this is such a common phenomenon that scientists actually have a name for it. They say we have poor “affective forecasting” abilities.

So, back to our quote to go for it.

If you go for it and fail, odds are you’ll bounce back faster than you think.

But…

If you don’t go for it, you run the risk of torturing yourself with an infinite number of scenarios where it could have worked out. Enter: Regret.

So…

Do you have any dreams that you need to pursue?

Here’s to sailing away from the safe harbors—knowing we have what it takes to bounce back from the inevitable storms (and occasional shipwrecks)! 😃

Twenty years from now, let’s look back with a smile at all the things we had the courage to do.

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