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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Planned Regret


There are two days of the year where my four young children are allowed to wake me up in the absence of an emergency: Christmas and Easter.


Yesterday was Easter, so my wife and I knew we'd be up very early yesterday morning; our munchkins would inevitably wake up at the crack of dawn, eager to begin our annual Easter tradition of searching for chocolate the Easter Bunny hid around the house.


And even knowing that, we still chose to stay up past midnight on Saturday evening to binge-watch three episodes of "Animal Kingdom".


It was not our best decision. And we spent all of Sunday morning regretting it as we drank multiple cups of coffee to deal with the chocolate-fueled enthusiasm of our excited children.


Would we choose differently if we had the chance for a do-over? Not likely.


For us, the bad decision was worth it.


I don't have a magic crystal ball, but fortunately I don't need one to understand the general consequences for most of the choices I make.


If I choose to eat too much chocolate, I'm likely to feel sick.


If I constantly forgo my workouts, the numbers on my bathroom scale are going to get bigger.


If I stay up late to watch TV knowing I have to get up early the next day, I'm going to be tired and not function at my best.


It's fine if you choose to eat "too much" chocolate, miss "too many" workouts, or get "too little" sleep. All of those qualifiers are relative anyway.


But you have to make a choice.


And it's really helpful to take a moment before you make any decision to think about exactly what you might regret tomorrow in exchange for an indulgence, action, or inaction today.


Because when you can anticipate your regrets, you get to decide in advance if they're worth it.


- dp

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