Quitting one’s high paying job and spending some time traveling and living off of savings might sound like a stupid thing to do. I used to be much more of a conservative person, in terms of life decisions, but changed my mind when I read some research indicating that people don’t regret not working enough and do regret not playing enough. This same research was cited in this recent New York Times article about work life balance, which I thought was worth sharing.
In one study, these consumer psychologists asked college students how they felt about the balance of work and play on their winter breaks.
Immediately after the break, the students’ chief regrets were over not doing enough studying, working and saving money. But when they contemplated their winter break a year afterward, they were more likely to regret not having enough fun, not traveling and not spending money. And when alumni returned for their 40th reunion, they had even stronger regrets about too much work and not enough play on their collegiate breaks.
These days, I don’t understand why people spend their younger years working and saving money so that they could do what they want when they’re old and dying. I would rather enjoy life while I am fit in mind and body, and work in an office when I can’t do much else.