Harvard reveals women’s end-of-life regrets

Dr Robert Waldinger, a researcher from Harvard University renowned for his studies on happiness and life satisfaction, reveals two common regrets shared by people as they approach the twilight of their lives. But what about women’s end-of-life regrets?

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Insights from Harvard: Understanding women’s greatest regrets as life winds down

Ever pondered your deepest regret from experiences?

Regret is as much a part of life as breathing, crossing all ages, genders, and cultures. Sometimes, it even serves as a compass, steering us away from repeating past mistakes.

According to Dr. Robert Waldinger, a leading expert in positive psychology, regret is more than just recognising a mistake; it’s the emotional journey of acknowledging it and seeking to make amends. As we mature, reflecting on our life’s journey becomes more profound.

Dr. Waldinger, a professor at Harvard Medical School and head of the Adult Development Study, shared insights on “The Gabby Reece Show,” shedding light on what people regret at age 80, irrespective of gender.


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“The recurring themes were ‘I wish I hadn’t dedicated so much time to work’ and ‘I wish I had spent more time with family and loved ones,’” he revealed. Nurturing relationships trumps career pursuits for life’s fulfilment.

Now, focusing on women, a unique perspective emerges. “I wish I hadn’t been overly concerned about others’ opinions of me” resonates deeply with women as they age. In a society that often stifles women with judgments and constraints, it’s no surprise they long for the freedom to live authentically.

Dr. Waldinger also highlighted a noteworthy observation often overlooked in his research: achievements like wealth, fame, or accolades weren’t the pinnacle of pride. Instead, it was the intangible treasures of “raising compassionate children,” “being a supportive friend,” or “contributing meaningfully to charitable causes” that brought the greatest sense of satisfaction.

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Japan
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer


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