Minimize Regrets In The Future
December 8, 2022
I am in sunny Sydney this week, and last night I had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in for almost 14 years. Our conversation over dinner revolved around many things, including how we both made career shifts in our late forties, giving up lucrative and predictable corporate careers for something entrepreneurial. My friend summed it up nicely when he said, ” Later in life, I didn’t want to regret not making a move.”
My friend’s comment reminded me of a decision-making model Jeff Bezos used when he quit investment banking to start Amazon. You can listen to Jeff Bezos explain it succinctly here(Regret Minimization Framework)
The power of the Bezos Regret Minimization Framework is in its simplicity. It provides a clear lens through which you can process your important decisions. It forces you to move beyond your immediate present-day fears and uncertainties and consider a more long-term view in arriving at the right decision. The goal of this model is to minimize regrets in the future, i.e., when you look back from the future, you should not regret the choice of doing or not doing something.
The Regret Minimisation Framework can be summarized in four simple steps. When faced with a difficult decision
Step 1: Project yourself into the future.
Step 2: Look back at the decision you are struggling to make.
Step 3: Ask yourself, “Will I regret not doing this?”
Step 4: If the answer is No- Don’t bother. But if the answer is Yes- Then DO IT – because you know you will regret it otherwise !!