The Regret Minimization Framework

Even Jeff Bezos struggled with his decision to found Amazon.  When he was considering the startup, he referred to the idea as a “crazy thing”.  Someone wasn’t able to make the decision for him, so he decided to use the Regret Minimization Framework:

I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that.  But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried.  And I knew that that would haunt me every day… when I thought about it that way, it was an incredibly easy decision.

Steve Jobs uses death to make difficult life decisions.  Jeff Bezos uses regret.  What’s key is both of these leaders’ abilities to think long-term.  They have the ability to picture themselves in the future for advice.  If focusing on the short-term, Bezos surely wouldn’t have left a financial firm mid-year, losing his annual bonus.  But he looked at the long-term, and that’s what really has the potential to make you happy.


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