Daniel Pink’s Three Simple Words to Avoid Regret

The CL 23 closing keynote speaker emphasizes that the start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on your regrets and use them as a foundation to build intentions for 2023.

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst       

Daniel Pink

In his CL 23 closing keynote, Daniel Pink will share science-based tips to replenish your drive, motivate your team, take back your time, and sharpen your decisions.

There’s a reason Convening Leaders is always held in early January — it’s the best way to kick off the new year, personally and professionally. You’ve had many opportunities during CL23 to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to meet whatever 2023 brings, and to seal the deal, you won’t want to miss five-time New York Times bestselling author Daniel H. Pink’s Main Stage closing presentation at 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday — “Restore Motivation, Battle Burnout, and Jumpstart Your 2023.”

Here’s some background on Pink to whet your appetite.

His most recent book, The Power of Regret, takes a deep dive into what he sees as a misunderstood emotion and the positive outcomes that can come from a deeper, albeit uncomfortable, reflection on the past. And one of the most enlightening revelations to come from his research may surprise you.

After conducting a survey of 19,000 people from 105 countries resulting in a database of more than 23,000 reported regrets, Pink noticed a common theme — regret around lapsed connections. “What really stuck with me were the stories about people in relationships that had drifted apart who didn’t reach out,” Pink said in an interview with Behavioral Scientist. “And then in some cases it was too late, and in other cases, it was just bugging them the whole time. As I interviewed these people, especially people for whom the door was still open, I would actually become frustrated. ‘What are you doing? Just call the person! Reach out!’” His main takeaway from the mounds of data he and his team collected is just three words long: Just reach out.

He emphasizes that right now, the start of a new year, is an opportune moment to reflect on any specific regrets you may have from the last year and use them as a foundation to build intentions for 2023. “Start that business. Write that novel. Ask out that crush. Take your shot,” Pink posted on Twitter earlier this month. He included a graph from his research, the American Regret Project, showing how, over the course of our lives, regrets of inaction significantly outnumber regrets of action.

Several years ago, Pink shared his insights from another of his best-selling books, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, with Convene, touching on how planners should strategize the timing of their events — like why it’s better to plan education sessions in the morning and collaborative workshops or team-building activities later in the day.

Before becoming an author, Pink worked in government and politics, serving as chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore. He hosted the National Geographic Channel show, Crowd Control, as well as a Masterclass on sales and persuasion.

For more about Daniel H. Pink and his seven books, visit danpink.com.

Jennifer N. Dienst is senior editor at Convene.

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