Minimize your regrets as you get old

Since I joined the fabulous Mental Model of the Month Club, we have started going through 12 major mental models. The first is 80/20, where the material helps us analyze how each area of our lives can improve. For example, which 20% of actions will give you 80% of the energy for the rest of the day? Or which 20% of the tasks at work deliver 80% of your most valuable output?

As we start deconstructing and analyzing all corners of our lives based on the 80/20 rule, there are many ways to do this more practically. One such method, which I view as a meta-method for all kinds of major decisions, is called the Regret Minimization Framework. When you are facing a big potential change in life, such as switching jobs, starting a café, or moving to another place, don’t just look at all the small details. These details can come later. Instead, start by asking yourself: On my deathbed, will I regret not taking this chance?

To some, this might sound a bit morbid, but for me, it works. Therefore, next time you face a big decision, also ask yourself “As I get older, will I regret not doing this?“. If the answer is Yes, then you should probably do this.

It was Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and one of the world’s richest people, who made the Regret Minimization Framework popular. Here is a 2:38-minute clip of Jeff 10 years ago:

Now, see if you can minimize the regrets in other areas of your life. You never know what awesome things will come out of it.

Author: Patrik Bergman

Privately: Father, husband, vegetarian, and reader of Dostoyevsky. Professionally: Works as Communications Manager at

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