Brain Food #653

A glimpse into the future

Thoughts of the day

Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell University, interviewed 1,500 people over the age of 65 about the things they would have changed if they could turn back the clock.

If success is having ‘fewer and fewer regrets’, then taking a look at the regrets of others - in a way, taking a glimpse into the future - may help us identify which ones strike more deeply.

The most popular sources of regret cited were:

  1. Not being careful enough when choosing a life partner

  2. Not resolving a family estrangement

  3. Putting off saying how you feel

  4. Not travelling enough

  5. Spending too much time worrying

  6. Not being honest

  7. Not taking enough career chances

  8. Not taking care of your body

With number 5, which may be the most popular one across the board, Manuel, 72, has the answer:

“You have to be flexible; don’t get locked into one frame of mind over anything. And probably the most important thing is, ninety-five percent of all the things I worried about never happened.

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