In this short video, Jeff Bezos explains how he decided to leave his cush, stable financial-sector job to start this wild dream called Amazon.com. Bezos' framework is essentially this question: when I'm 80, will I regret not doing this? He calls it the Regret Minimization Framework. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwG_qR6XmDQ]
I've used this framework (without knowing Mr. Bezos' fancy name for it) to make a few important personal and professional decisions in my life. As Bezos suggests, I found it helped me leapfrog over anxieties and uncertainties tied to the here-and-now and take a longer view.
Like the warmer/colder test (which is more about the here-and-now), the Regret Minimization Framework is a quick "gut-check" that can help you find clarity as you approach important decisions. Of course, not everyone's internet start-up is going to turn into Amazon, but Mr. Bezos says that the important thing for him is that he tried (easy for him to say now, a cynic might add).
You can watch the video here (having problems embedding it on my blog, sorry).
What do you think about a regrets-based framework for making important decisions?