Some of the most common regrets we have include working too hard, losing touch with friends, turning down a dream job opportunity and not making time to travel.
But what is the one thing that most people would say is the biggest regret of their lives?
Psychologists at Cornell University have released a new study revealing that the biggest regret we have in our lives is ‘failing our ideal selves’.
Rather than regretting the things we have done – ‘why did I say that?’ or ‘I wish I had done this instead!’ – our ultimate worry is that we haven’t followed our dreams.
Professor of Psychology and lead author of the study, Tom Gilovich, said: ‘When we evaluate our lives, we think about whether we’re heading toward our ideal selves, becoming the person we’d like to be.
‘Those are the regrets that are going to stick with you, because they are what you look at through the windshield of life.
‘The ‘ought’ regrets are potholes on the road. Those were problems, but now they’re behind you. To be sure, there are certain failures to live up to our ‘ought’ selves that are extremely painful and can haunt a person forever; so many great works of fiction draw upon precisely that fact.
‘But for most people those types of regrets are far outnumbered by the ways in which they fall short of their ideal selves.’
So if you’ve been looking for the courage and motivation to get out there and turn your dreams into a reality – this is it.