Rating: 5 out of 5
I learned about Mr Pink’s take on regret from a podcast I regularly listen to. The short overview the author gave on that was enough to make me pre-order the book—even if it took a while for me to actually get around to reading it. Suffice to say both the topic itself as well as its applications have been on my mind both before and after taking up the book, and this made it an introspective read.
I found the author’s style and structure suitable for the topic. He introduces the emotion, the history of its research, and then his own project of the Regret Survey, which then turns into an overview of the four primal types of regret. All of this, when reading, makes for a challenge: what does the reader regret and why? Insofar as books that normally deal with psychological topics that may help someone, those generally work in the future. Regret, however, is ever-present and this means that daring to look this feeling in the eye is something the reader must do. All in all, there’s no point otherwise to read and learn—or, rather, the reader should at least expect to be challenged on their beliefs and choices.
What’s the take-away? Does our regret make us better, i.e., make us assess our future decisions through the experiences of past ones? Or, do we ignore those choices and their results to stumble into the same holes again and again? This will depend both on the choice itself as well as the person going through them. What are the question that really matter to someone? Is it losing one’s honour? Is it losing one’s friends? Is it not being brave enough, or is it not having the footing one wants? I think pondering this question will be a natural side effect of reading the book, and this will potentially tell the reader much about themselves.
While not the best book that looks into society, this still falls towards the top of that list. Well worth a read!