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15th May 2019

Research shows that this one thing will be the biggest regret of your life

Time to follow your dreams

Olivia Hayes

Didn’t take that job last summer?

Didn’t travel around the world? Didn’t tell the person you had a crush on that you liked them?

It happens to us all, and as we all know we can regret decisions in life, but now new research has backed it up.

A new study by psychologists at Cornell University has found that “failing our ideal selves” will be the longest lasting regret we have in our lives.

Gray Dream Freestanding Letters

Basically, it’s not about doing something stupid that you regret, it’s about not following or acting on your hopes and dreams.

Tom Gilovich, professor of psychology and the lead author on the study said: “When we evaluate our lives, we think about whether we’re heading toward our ideal selves, becoming the person we’d like to be.

“Those are the regrets that are going to stick with you, because they are what you look at through the windshield of life.

“The ‘ought’ regrets are potholes on the road. Those were problems, but now they’re behind you. To be sure, there are certain failures to live up to our ‘ought’ selves that are extremely painful and can haunt a person forever; so many great works of fiction draw upon precisely that fact.

“But for most people those types of regrets are far outnumbered by the ways in which they fall short of their ideal selves.”

So, think it’s time to follow that dream now?