No regrets. Really?

Erikjan Lantink
5 min readMay 24, 2024

It’s good to have regrets. Regrets are part of life. The ambition to live without any mistakes and corresponding regrets is close to the definition of insanity.

Therefore, I doubt people who walk around with tattoos, stating ‘no regrets.’

We all have regrets, moments when we wish to turn back time a little. Regrets matter in life. They help us learn and make better decisions the next time, but only when we decide to do the work and reflect.

In his book The Power of Regret, Daniel Pink discusses the ‘no regret’ people. The biggest requests for tattoo removal are to remove the name of a (former) loved one or the ‘no regret’ tattoo. And it’s not just the tattoo people regret.

It’s about the fact that regrets have emerged, even with the tattooed intention to live without regrets.

Daniel Pink argues that regrets are good. They lead to reflection, lessons learned, and growth.

If you intend to live life without regrets, you won’t be experimenting, curious, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

You won’t learn and grow without regrets.

So, let’s make it personal. I have two personal regrets I’d like to discuss in this insight.



Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)