Dodging regret

Regret is the act of having taken a decision we rather should not have. Given regret is a source of much angst, here are three ways to dodge it.

The most effective means to dodge regret, then, is at the moment of making that decision. The key to doing this is to ask other people who have already made this decision about how it turned out. If you wish to start a new career as a developer, ask people who have already done this. They are your most reliable source of information.

A second means to dodge regret is to stop looking at forks we have left behind. The problem with social media is that it keeps reminding us of choices we have passed up – childhood friends travelling the world, ex-colleagues earning promotions and our college mates founding successful companies. Logging off helps us shut the door on manicured representations of the lives of our peers.

A third means is palliative – to realize that some measure of regret is inevitable. Today, we invariably have more information than we did when we made a particular decision in the past. However, our brain is terrible at taking this into account, having us feel instead that we should have anticipated a mistake. Alas, that feeling is just an illusion, and realizing this rightfully lets us off the hook.

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