Things You’ll Be Sorry for When You Get Old


Feeling sorry is one of the most bitter feelings that a person can experience. Alas, it is almost impossible to get rid of its destructive effect. But can we predict the situations that will make us feel sorry all our life? What actions (or, perhaps, inaction) are we most likely to regret when we get old? The answer to this philosophical question is unexpectedly given by science.

Two American professors, Mike Morrison from the University of Illinois and Neal Roese from Northwestern University, have seriously studied the nature of human choice and the regrets connected with it. The scientists decided to find out which situations often make us return to the past hoping to change something. They decided to ask about it directly and arranged a large-scale telephone survey. They phoned 370 random Americans of the senior (retirement) age.

According to the received answers, 18% of the respondents regretted the loss of love or an unhappy relationship, 16% were sorry for family quarrels and other situations connected with the family. Lack of education or making a wrong choice in the past saddened 13% of the respondents; the successful/unsuccessful career was mentioned by 12%; the financial situation worried 10% of the people, and the problems with children and health were an issue for 9% and 6% respectively.

The conclusion is obvious: most of the regrets (43%) are connected with love, family, and relationships, and only 35% are related to career, money, and health. So don’t waste time in vain and don’t forget that apart from work and financial issues you also have your private life. One day you may bitterly regret the lack of it.