What if people are simply choosing to regret less, is that bad?


I was watching Jane McGonigal’s 2012 TEDTalk The game that can give you 10 extra years of life where she referenced The Guardian’s article that outlined the top five regrets of the dying:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

It was mostly men who referenced the top two. One could argue this is due to the generational realities of the time, which would be true. But it did spark a question in me as it relates to the gender gap discussions of today.

What if women are simply choosing to regret less?

After more contemplation, I saw how this could apply to the “lazy, undriven” millennials.

Perhaps women and millennials are making a thoughtful, conscious decision to lean out instead of choosing not to lean in. What if some are choosing to heed the advice and wisdom of our elders and are not defining their life by their work ethic and chosen career? How would this change our perception of the gender gap and the utility of millennials?

Is regretting less really a bad thing?

  • Eleanor Beaton
    May 15, 2015

    Interesting take! I believe a fully-lived life requires boldness. Sometimes being bold means consciously choosing to spend more time with the people we love most versus working extra hard in the office. Sometimes it means being OK with taking time away from the family in order to do something — work-related or creativity-related, or just fun — that truly fills the soul. I think leaning in is a moment by moment thing. Great post, Dawn.

    • Dawn
      May 15, 2015

      Agreed and well said, Eleanor. Thanks for commenting!

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