The Most Surprising Regret Of The Very Old, And How You Can Avoid It

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don't regretThe Most Surprising Regret Of The Very Old — And How You Can Avoid It

What do older people regret when they look back over their lives? I asked hundreds of the oldest Americans that question. I had expected big-ticket items: an affair, a shady business deal, addictions — that kind of thing. I was therefore unprepared for the answer they often gave: I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life worrying. Over and over, as the 1,200 elders in our Legacy Project reflected on their lives, I heard versions of “I would have spent less time worrying” and “I regret that I worried so much about everything.” Indeed, from the vantage point of late life, many people felt that if given a single “do-over” in life, they would like to have all the time back they spent fretting anxiously about the future. (Pillemer, June 4, 2013) Read entire blog post.