What are you biggest regrets in life currently? Are they more of things you didn’t do, or things you did that ended badly? Do you think that will be the same when you reflect on this at the end of your life? Unlike the other quotes I have written, this one is merely recent scientific research that could be wisdom, but was never expressed as such, rather than my insights.
The story began with some nurse conversing with terminally ill patients and asking them the same question, what regrets did you have most in life? With some sorting from a bigger picture perspective, she realized their regrets were all about things they had wanted to do but never did, rather than any of numerous bad, tragic, even catastrophic events or outcomes in their lives. Bankruptcies, divorces, deaths caused, and so on. Nothing compared to things they each wished they had done, like asking someone out, taking some trip or job, forgiving someone, working less, being themselves more, writing a book (of quotes?), etc.
Sometime after this nurse told her story, scientists did more quantitative research and confirmed her belief. Those scientists just never wrote their conclusions in any way that sounded proverbial, and rightly so, as scientific journal papers should be objective rather than preachy. Being on the sidelines, without such writing constraints, and having already believed in the concept purely on faith, I merely capitalized on it all for a good quote dispensing good wisdom supported by science – you will ultimately regret what you did not do far more than anything you did that ended badly.