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2 04, 2012

Of Course You Can Get Through Your Regrets

By |2017-03-03T12:07:06-05:00April 2nd, 2012|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Of Course You Can Get Through Your Regrets

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Why is hindsight so clear?

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.” What a great insight!

At one time or another we all regret a choice we’ve made; it’s just being human. We can’t always choose the right path. But instead of  regretting your choice,  think about the positive aspects of your decision. What did you learn, how did you make the decision? Was it based on your present situation or future possibilities?

Last year I made a decision to buy a house  on a little  lake that was  similar to  my childhood home.  Unfortunately I based the decision on the fantasy of “how I would like to use the house” rather than the  reality of my life.  Last summer I spent one weekend in the house, despite the fact that it’s less than one hour from my home in Albany.  I hope it’s a good investment but only time will tell.

According to Dr. Michael Craig Miller, regrets  can help us make sense of our life and our choices.

How do you get through regrets? Here are a few things I’ve come up with, let me know what you think.

I know this sounds simplistic but get over it! Getting too involved in regrets is pointless. Why spend time hashing and rehashing—it’s over. A friend of mine told me today that she is still trying to get over a 14 year relationship. She and her ex-boyfriend still continue to hash things over and over despite the fact that they both say it’s over!

View the experience positively. Remember the concept called Yin Yang? The ancient Chinese subscribe to a belief that there exist two complementary opposite forces in the universe. One is Yin, which is characterized as negative or feminine, the other is s Yang which represents everything positive or masculine. One is not better than the other, they just co-exist. There is a positive and negative side to everything.

If we apply them to life we could say  there are two opposite sides to every event. In the case of our regret, it can be a positive learning experience. Ask yourself, how has this bad decision helped me? What have I learned, is there a good  side to my bad decision?

This past week my favorite restaurant burned to the ground. The restaurant  was one of the reasons that I bought my lake house. The restaurant had good food, good people and was the meeting place for everyone living on the lake.

Today I went to see the devastation. All I could think about was where will I go now? How will I find my summer friends?

It all felt so strange, it was my favorite place! I finally decided that there was a reason why I needed to move on. I’m not sure what it is but I’m practicing having “no regrets.”

Stay true to yourself. This is not about you being selfish, this is knowing yourself and doing what’s right for you. Maybe when you made the decision you weren’t doing the right thing for yourself.

Let your ethics be your guide. Socrates’ guiding rule was “know thyself.”

Stretch yourself. So you took a risk and it wasn’t right for you. According to, sometimes taking a chance, regardless of how crazy it seems, can make your life more enjoyable.

Give yourself a break, try something that’s scary. Trying new things can free your spirit and give you a new joy for living. What’s wrong with that?

Most likely you’ll get to take more risks and make more mistakes. “Mistakes are sometimes the best memories.” Anonymous.

Let us know how you get  through your regrets.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a business coach and speaker. For some fun tips on living, download her book, Brain Snacks.






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12 12, 2010

Can Customers Trick Themselves Into Buying And Eating More?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:11-05:00December 12th, 2010|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

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Dessert tray with lots of options for the consumer

I was listening to NPR on decision making sourced from  Dr. Rangel’s studies include why some people have more self-control than others in two important categories: eating and spending.

Dr. Rangel set out to study if presenting food in a certain way would change the customer’s perception of value and how much they were willing to pay for the food.  The study involved Cal Tech undergraduates who were very hungry during this trial. The students were given money to purchase desserts from information shown in photos or texts, then presented desserts offered on an actual tray.  (By the way, the food on the tray looked exactly like the food in the text and the pictures.)  What was surprising was the students were willing to pay about 50 percent more for the real food that was in front of them (according to this download-able pdf file from American Economic Review), but were only willing to pay a lower amount for the food in the pictures and the texts. Armed with this data one would wonder why restaurants spend so much money on beautiful photos and texts when all they need is to bring out the dessert tray!

In an industry where tips are often based on the price of the meal, you would think that servers would always offer the most expensive items. My experience leads me to believe that this isn’t necessarily the case. There are several things that stand in the way, the biggest thing is the server’s attitude or lack of selling skills. If the customer asks, what’s good on the menu the server is often reluctant to offer the most expensive item. Actually this makes sense; the server doesn’t have enough information to offer an opinion.  If the server asks, what type of food do you like, the game has changed. The customer is saying, tell me what’s best for me.

When it comes to dessert there are two objections on the part of the server.

“It takes too much time to bring out the dessert tray.” This is a common complaint.

“I heard the customer say, ‘I’m so full, I couldn’t eat another thing.'”  I guess the server missed  the obesity studies ranking the United States the fattest of all the nations. It appears we always have room for dessert, especially if it’s put in front of us.

How about the server’s attitude and preconceived ideas about the customer‘s spending habits?  “I wouldn’t spend that much, so why would the customer? For the most part, this is pure conjecture on the server’s part.

Isn’t it good customer service to offer the customer the best? Isn’t the customer worth the best? If the customer finds the product too expensive, do they find the server offensive? Personally, I would be more likely to feel offended if  I was  offered the cheapest.  As for the server,  it’s easier to trade down then it is to trade up.

Could  it be the  customer spends  money because they want to and they can?  Again we’re back to getting your customer to experience the product.  I just returned from a car show where all convertible tops were down, doors open, and the radios blaring.   What an invitation!

Is the restaurant business different than other businesses? Probably not. The literature suggests that customers tip more when they like the server.  Not much of a surprise is it?  On the other hand, if the customer doesn’t like the server or the sales associate, they are not likely to buy.

If the food is really lousy, it’s hard for the server to make the customer feel better by their extra efforts; unless they’re getting the customer an antacid.  If the food is good but not great and the server goes out of his or her way to attend to the customer, the tip will probably be good.  The customer is probably thinking the server is doing their best and the mediocre food isn’t their fault. Again it’s all about empathy.

This all goes back to getting your customer to taste the product, see the product and try it out.  In other words, getting your product in the hands of your customer.

Let the customer taste the product before they buy.  They do in Ben and Jerry’s. Allowing the customer to taste the product creates obligation on the customer’s part.  You’ve heard the phrase, “One good turn deserves another.”

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