Adventures with Ideas: Truth, Beauty, and the Paradoxes of Life.

To do, or not to do? Avoiding regret.

When making a decision I ask myself :

1. Will I regret doing it?

If I answer “yes”, I don’t do it. (Reason being, if I am pretty sure I’m going to regret something I think it would be pretty silly to disregard that intuition.)

If the answer is “maybe” or “no” I ask myself:

2. Will I regret not doing it?

Now if I answer “yes” then I do it. (For the same reason as above.)

Now the selection criteria gets a little more confusing:

If the answer to both questions is “maybe” then I do it. (Reason being I think it better to regret something you did, the regret something you didn’t do.)

If the answer to question 2 is “no” and the the answer to the question 1 is “maybe” then I don’t it. (If I know I’m not going to regret not doing it, then it’s not worth the chance of regretting doing it.)

If the answer to question 2 is “maybe” and the answer to the question 1 is “no” then I do it. (If I know I’m not going to regret doing it, then it’s not worth the chance of regretting not doing it.)

If the answer to both questions is “no” then I will have a cold shower. (I need to wake up – if the consequences are so trivial I should have done it already.)

Hmmm I wonder if my new little criteria makes sense to anyone other than me…?

And I guess it doesn’t always apply – especially if you tend to do before you think, eg shaving my head.. that wasn’t exactly a planned out decision but I didn’t regret it (at least not after the first day or two)… That being said I have no plans to do it again any time soon.

 

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