How regret is more reliable than pleasure

Do you often regret wasting away your leisure?

While deciding how you could spend your free time, you could either choose to maximize pleasure or minimize regret. While our tendency is to maximize pleasure, we are better served by dodging regret instead.

After a hard day’s work, you might have a craving to stuff your face with chocolate. When you do, pause and think of whether you would regret eating a whole bar of chocolate two hours from now.

In the middle of a busy week, you might feel like going out for a drink. When you do, pause and ask yourself if you would regret that decision the next morning.

On a lazy weekend afternoon, you might feel like binge watching TV shows. When you do, pause and ask yourself if you would regret watching 3 hours of Mad Men.

You might not regret some of those choices. In that case, let yourself go without a feeling of guilt hanging over your shoulders.

The best decisions are the ones that serve our long-term interests. Since regret lingers over a longer period than fleeting pleasure, it serves as a more reliable yardstick.

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