Life begets regrets, but one looms larger than others…

New research from Kellogg Graduate School of Management:

“…By the time most people reach middle age, they could probably name a long list of things they regret from their past—the job opening they ignored, the disastrous vacation, the stock they did not buy, or even worse the one they did. But the most frequent regrets involve romance…these findings contradict some previous studies, which had ranked education-related regrets in first place. The top 6 regrets were:

  1. Romance (18%)
  2. Family (16%). (People crave strong, stable relationships & are unhappy without them)
  3. Education (13%)
  4. Career (12%)
  5. Finance (10%)
  6. Parenting (9%)

Women were more likely to cite romance-related regrets, whereas men’s regrets usually centered on work.

Whatever the cause of the regret…people should not see it as a negative. “Regret is an essential part of the human experience—something everybody has as long as they have life goals,” he says. “Rather than avoid it, it’s better to try to take some insights out of the regret experience. Rather than avoid it, it’s better to try to take some insights out of the regret experience.”

Source: See full article in Kellogg Insight (Feb 2012): The Biggest Regret of All: Life Begets Regrets, But One Looms Larger Than Others


  1. Yes, this resonates. As usual! I find myself thinking about people not on their deathbed, but who appear to be least happy with their lives. They are the ones who have regrets 1 and 2: Romance and Family. They’re the ones whose lives seem to be a quest for that Holy Grail relationship which never comes. In the process of seeking it they turn their backs on what they already have, and ignore the needs of others in the process. They’re already living with regret, I fear.


  2. I love this info… something I needed on this day.


  3. No regrets – but there are something things that I might have done differently.


  4. Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my Jenga shot. I also have an Africa blog about life experiences. But about what I’ve just read on yours…………….
    I suppose we do all have long lists of regrets: Yes and, No !
    My life has been a long learning experience and if you can view it that way, you cannot regret. But the deathbed is a long way away! For another time.
    My emotional boxes are threaded like beads, putting life into perspective.
    Life is destined to run it’s course, dividing one’s time on earth into a series of boxes which all inter-link like a string of pearls or a chain. When one box closes, another always opens to reveal me and more people to cling to, apart from those treasured material possessions you tend to drag with you from one box to the other.

    Occasionally boxes will touch each other more than once during a lifetime.

    My advise: Don’t regret, because what you experienced then, was so special to you at that time of your life, the memory will remain forever. And for what reason if not because it is now a part of you; who you have become.


  5. I look at mistakes as learning experiences and so I don’t regret any of them. Without these mistakes, I would not be the person I am today.

    Thank you once again for great insight. I enjoy reading your posts very much.


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