What’s Your Regret? Dan Pink Would Like to Know…

Imagine my excitement when I saw an email in my Inbox from Dan Pink. Dan’s biweekly Pinkcast has been a great source of material for my blogs. I used to look forward to those Tuesdays when his Pinkcast newsletter would arrive because the odds were quite high that I would have something to write about that evening. Just type Pinkcast into my Search box, and you will see how many posts I have gotten out of Dan’s ideas.

But those biweekly emails stopped earlier this year, coming less frequently and more sporadically.

So my hopes were high when Dan’s newsletter arrived this afternoon. However, the email today was not a Pinkcast; it was an announcement and a request for help.

Here is the announcement part of the text of the email:

About a year ago in this newsletter, I invited you, dear readers, to tell me about your regrets. Little did I know that this request would reshape the next few years of my life. 

The response was so extraordinary — in both numerical volume and emotional depth — that I scrapped what I thought would be my next book and decided instead to write a book about regret.

For the last six months, I’ve been working on a book that takes a fresh look at the science of regret — and shows how to enlist this seemingly negative emotion as a positive force in our lives. 

As part of the research, I’ve just launched the World Regret Survey, an effort to gather tens of thousands of regrets from people around the world.

Here is the request part:

If you have 3 minutes, would you be willing to participate?

The survey asks only four short questions. Your responses are anonymous. And your contribution will be a huge help in understanding this complex topic. (You can even complete the survey in Chinese or Spanish.)

Once you’re at the site, you’ll also be able to use our nifty interactive map to see regrets already submitted from more than 3,000 people in dozens of countries and most U.S. states. 

Thanks for considering. Even more, thanks for inspiring this new book. It’s a writer’s joy to connect with readers like you.

So as a sign of my gratitude for all that he has so generously shared through his Pinkcast, I opted to participate in the survey, and it really does take less than three minutes.

The first question, and the only one that takes more than two seconds to answer, asks you to describe a major regret you have had in your life.

I found it a bit difficult to answer, because I have been blessed with a wonderful family, great friends and neighbors, and I job I have enjoyed for over 30 years.

But after a bit of soul searching, I finally came up with something.

I responded that my regret is that I did not make more of an effort to become friends with my work colleagues. As I just noted, I’ve worked at the same place for more than 30 years, and I would not consider anyone I work with to be a close friend. You know, the kind of person you would call up when you were struggling with something or someone to go grab a beer with at the last minute.

Don’t get me wrong; I am friendly with a lot of people I work with. It’s just that I don’t feel it goes beyond a working relationship.

I realize I have some control over this. I won’t be leaving Villanova for a few years and so there is the chance that if I put in some effort over the next few years, I could develop one or two close relationships.

I guess time will tell…

I’d encourage you to take the survey, or at least check out the web site, where you can read about the regrets of people from around the world.

*image from Futurity

54 thoughts on “What’s Your Regret? Dan Pink Would Like to Know…

  1. Close friends are great, but just like social media, they can be a time suck. Maybe your reluctance to make close friends with your coworkers is recognition that you only have so much time in your life. I hope you’re able to make the friends you want, but you may have to give up Borden’s Blather in the process. Hate to see you go, but I’d understand why.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, he can’t give up “Borden’s Blather”, well I guess he can do whatever he wants. 🙂 But I do think that one can make time for both, just may have to take some other things away, like exercise, who has time for that? See, its all about priorities! LOL!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s true. And Jim does exercise a lot. I’m sure his physical fitness wouldn’t suffer if he gave up just 30 minutes a day of exercise, and gave that time to his blog.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Perhaps the environment and the type of job you have is not conducive to forming close relationships. Some of the jobs I had were that way. On the other hand, in my role as an elementary school teacher, we consistently worked together. My son passed through the school where I taught, and many of my colleagues were his teachers. This connectedness furthered friendships. Each month (before COVID), I organize a luncheon with my retired colleagues. I miss seeing them right now, as some of them are my dearest friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, after milking his writing for subject matter, the least you could do is participate in the survey. I’ll tell you the premise of his book sounds interesting and one I would likely buy to read. I am like you, Jim, I do not have close relationships with my work colleagues, but it is on purpose. I have always chosen to keep my work life and private life separate from each other. But as you said, you will be leaving soon and it may be beneficial to have some established relationships before you go. Great write up and preview to Dan’s upcoming work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maybe subconsciously I’ve done the same thing in terms of keeping my work and personal life separate. The book does sound like another winner for Dan; I just hope he finds a way to turn all those regrets into something positive…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you can steer a different course with your work colleagues, Jim. I took the survey and thanks for the link. I was signed up for Dan’s newsletter, but not getting the emails, so I appreciate your prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. so interesting, and we all have regrets. I think this will make a fascinating book. anyone who says that don’t is not stating the full truth. self-reflection always leads to some measure of growth, so here’s hoping it’s a positive for you in your work/personal relationship status.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting…I haven’t heard of Dan Pink and interestingly moving as far away as I have friends who I thought of as true friends apart from a couple I/they haven’t really kept in touch however people I thought of as acquaintances have …a strange world

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I took the survey too, out of curiosity. I already knew what is my biggest regret, and it is quite similar to yours. This is what I wrote for Dan, which I’m saving in case it becomes a topic for a blog post:

    A general failure to maintain friendships after I leave somewhere: school, university (both of them), various workplaces. Was what seemed important at the time really so insignificant, or am I just a bad friend?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve done the same thing; other than my fellow swimmers, I have not maintained many relationships from my many years of school. However, Facebook has made it easier to reconnect with a few of them, and at least do a little bit of catching up…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s been my saviour too. I’ve kept in touch with quite a few friends from my last workplace and have found some old schoolfriends on there too, nearly 50 years on!

        Liked by 1 person

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