Regret Minimization: Why a Billionaire Decided to Leave His Prestigious Job
One of the most powerful decision-making frameworks is called regret minimization.
It's how Jeff Bezos decided to leave his safe cushy job at a prestigious investment bank to start a little virtual bookstore — now known as Amazon.
I'm sure Jeff knew the risks. 9 out of 10 startup companies usually end up failing, but he went ahead and did it anyway.
Jeff didn't start Amazon because he was super confident, he started it because he realized he would regret not doing it even if it doesn’t work out.
Cornell University did a study where they asked hundreds of people what their single biggest regret was... and 76% of people said something along the lines of not taking enough actions to do the things they truly wanted to.
Professor Gilovich, who helped conduct the research, said, “In the short term, people regret their actions more than inactions. But in the long term, the inaction regrets stick around longer.”
Bronnie Ware is a nurse who spent many years caring for patients in the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives, and she found out something pretty similar to the Cornell research.
She realized the number one regret of the dying patients was that they wished they had the courage to live a life true to themselves, and not the life others expected of them.
Doing the things you truly want is not easy. Having courage is not easy.
When you plan to do something that most people wouldn’t do like becoming a comedian or taking a year off to volunteer in South Africa, most people will be indifferent.
Many of your friends will be supportive.
But there will be people that think you are ABSOLUTELY crazy. These people can be your family, your parent's friends, or some random dude you meet at a party.
That’s why it’s important to have a strong conviction in your choices (after you’ve done your research) because the few people that disagree with you can often sway your resolve to actually go after what you want.
At the end of the day, you have to realize this is your f*cking life, and regret is often very painful. So start asking yourself, what would you regret not doing even if it doesn’t work out?
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Thanks for reading!