The Power of Regret With Bestselling Author Daniel Pink

daniel pink

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have sold millions of copies around the world.

His fascinating titles about business and behavior include books such as "When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing" and "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us."

His newest book, "The Power of Regret," discusses how to use regret to move ourselves forward in life. He surveyed more than 15,000 people from around the world and uncovered some interesting facts about regret. 

Why Daniel Pink Is Mentally Strong

Daniel Pink studies things for a long time before creating books about a topic. He takes subjects that are misunderstood or complex and makes them easy to understand. He also sheds new light on old ideas.

He isn’t afraid to talk about his own vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in this episode he shares some of his regrets as well as how he works on coming to terms with his failures.

Rather than simply point to himself as an expert who never makes mistakes, he shares that the reason he often studies certain topics is because he’s struggled with these things as well.

As he mentions on the show, being able to talk about vulnerabilities isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • What it really means to regret to something
  • Why you might want to switch answers on a multiple choice test (and how the fear of regret keeps us from doing it)
  • Why we sometimes don’t want to acknowledge that we have regrets
  • The great lengths we go to in an effort to avoid feeling regret
  • The four types of regret
  • The differences between what younger people regret versus older people
  • The most common types of regrets Daniel uncovered in his research
  • The strategies that can help us cope with regret
  • Why so many people regret being mean to others when they were kids and what this says about us
  • How sharing your regret lessens the burden
  • How regret can help you move forward in a healthy way
  • How to learn from regret
  • The biggest regrets Daniel has in his life
  • Why Daniel created a list of all his regrets and failures
  • How to handle the fear of doing something you might regret later

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

There are plenty of people who think having no regrets is a badge of honor in life. But the truth is, everyone probably regrets something—and that’s not a bad thing.

Knowing you can do something you regret and still be OK is a sign of strength. After all, if you lived your life to avoid ever feeling regret, you wouldn’t take many risks.

You may need to examine what you’re more likely to regret–moving to a new city or always living in the same place? Or, will you regret going after that person you love or never taking the chance?

Although regret feels uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We can learn a lot from regret if we allow ourselves to experience it. 

Quotes From Daniel

Daniel Pink

Everybody has regrets. It's part of our cognitive machinery.

— Daniel Pink
  • There's little evidence that self criticism leads to positive outcomes. Self-esteem isn't that much better. What we should be doing is self-compassion.
  • We think when we disclose our vulnerabilities, our mistakes, or our weaknesses, people will like us less. They generally like us more because they admire our courage.
  • Just writing about your regret for 15 minutes a day for three days can be really useful because it defangs the regret. It makes it less menacing and it begins the sense-making process. 

More About the Podcast

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Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.