The Power Of Regret

Just the day before starting reading this book, I was in a place that at some point were putting the best hits of Edith Piaf (although I prefer this). Funny enough, the book nearly started referring to the song about “regrets”…. and how that is not a good advice.

One of the best sentences is “Feeling is for thinking” and “thinking is for doing”.

I dont believe in the absolute sentence of “no regrets” neither “being blocked by regrets”. At the end of the day, the virtue is in the middle as Aristotle said

BTW, ChatGPT confirms it 🙂

Aristotle's idea of virtue being the "middle ground" or the "golden mean" is discussed in his book "Nicomachean Ethics".

In Book II, Chapter 6, Aristotle writes: "Virtue, then, is a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a mean, i.e., the mean relative to us, this being determined by a rational principle, and by that principle by which the man of practical wisdom would determine it."

He goes on to explain that virtue is the mean between two vices, one of excess and one of deficiency, and that the right amount of any given quality or behavior depends on the situation and the individual involved.


Regrets has to be a way to improve ourselves, to move forwards. All of us make mistakes, so deal with it.

I regret mainly my lack of balls with girls and not standing up for myself for many years. But I am trying to learn about it: girls, feelings, relationships, etc. I didnt know better neither so as most things, “learning on the job training”.

At some point, I felt the data provided was a bit “weak”. Based on “Calling bullshit” I thought the stats were not really representative for the whole world.

In general, I think the moral of the book has more impact in the western cultures based on most of the quotes from people. But as said, earlier, regret is something that makes us human, so very likely it will affect anybody wherever you are from.

The author divide regrets in four sections:

  • Foundation Regrets: family, education, work, health, money, etc
  • Boldness Regrets: fail to jump for the opportunity: chat with a girl, work abroad, trip to X place, etc
  • Moral Regrets: theft, infidelity, betrayal, etc
  • Connection Regrets: meaningful relationships, etc

For example, in most cases we regret “not doing things” than “doing something”. That lack of action comes from our nature of risk averse.

In summary, the book is easy and quick to read. And it is good reminder of what regret should be, look at the past, learn from it, and move to the future.