By sweet sounding lies
RISK taking is important. Entrepreneurs are in the business of taking risks in the pursuit of profit and are the engine room of the capitalist market economy. Risk taking makes sense where the likely consequences of action have been well considered and are deemed acceptable.
The quote above though states that “we only regret the chances we didn’t take”.
While missed opportunities can be regrettable, this is only one side of the story. The quote ignores the possibility of regretting the things we have actually done. For example, when asked by Businessweek about achievements of which he was most proud, the late Steve Jobs did not mention the iPod, the iPhone, or the iPad. Instead he stated, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”
“Take a chance and live without regrets” is the mantra of charlatans, philanderers and unscrupulous financiers everywhere. However, it is not just the unscrupulous operators who are to blame. The sales pitch appeals to the people who are looking to be convinced (Dan Kahneman would call this confirmation bias). You probably have a friend who, despite any evidence to the contrary, desperately believes that they are uniquely lucky, that true love can be found in a night club, or that fast money is possible for them.
Some people want to be seduced by sweet sounding lies, and the results can sometimes be quite regrettable.